Save Money in this Sunday's paper

THE KITCHEN

comments

Just plain carrot cake: An unadorned delight

By Emma Christensen
TheKitchn.com

More Information

  • Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 teaspoon salt

    4 eggs, room temperature

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    3/4 cup canola oil

    1 cup granulated sugar

    4 cups grated carrots (a little less than 2 pounds of whole carrots)

    1 batch Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe)

    PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

    WHISK together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. Set both aside.

    BEAT together the oil and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer or by hand. With the mixer on low, beat in a third of the flour, then a third of the eggs. Continue beating in the flour and eggs in alternating additions. Stop mixing when the last of the flour is just barely incorporated. Fold in the carrots with a spatula, working slowly and gently until the carrots are distributed and no more dry flour remains.

    POUR the batter into the baking dish and tap the dish a few times against the counter to work out the air bubbles. Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating once during baking. The finished cake should be slightly puffed in the middle and browned on the edges. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

    LET the cake cool completely before frosting, at least one hour. Keep leftover cake, covered, at room temperature for several days. You can also wrap the unfrosted cake in aluminum foil and freeze it for up to 3 months.

    YIELD: 12-15 servings, depending on the size of the slices.


  • Cream Cheese Frosting

    Adapted from a recipe by Faith Durand of www.thekitchn.com.

    1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    3 cups confectioner’s sugar

    Pinch of salt

    BEAT together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Slowly beat in the vanilla, confectioner’s sugar and salt.

    INCREASE to high speed once the frosting starts to come together into lumps. Beat until creamy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

    YIELD: Enough to thickly cover a 13-by-9-inch cake.



I have an aunt who is famous in the family for her carrot cake. This is partly due to the fact that she doesn’t make it for just any old dinner or family gathering. It just magically shows up exactly when you need it.

And with its tender cinnamon-scented crumb and thick layer of cream cheese frosting, yes, you definitely need it.

Far from guarding her secret, my aunt happily shared the recipe with me. She admitted she originally copied the recipe from a cookbook, though she had forgotten exactly which one. But she went on to describe so many tweaks, adjustments and variations that I’m convinced this is now solely her own.

In turn, I have made my own tweaks and adjustments. My aunt prefers a layered round cake; I like a sheet cake. My aunt adds nuts and raisins; I’ll make mine with the carrots alone. My aunt uses a cooked frosting of cream, sugar and cream cheese; I keep it simple with a basic cream cheese frosting.

But the base recipe remains my aunt’s, and it surpasses all other carrot cakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling.

Emma Christensen is recipe editor at TheKitchn.com, a food and home-cooking blog.
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases