You know what perks up a bad day? Cake. Any type really will do, but I’m especially fond of a rich carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. I really wish I weren’t such an emotional foodie, but I am. Some days I can eat an apple and some almonds and call it a treat, but other days I have to search for the perfect treat for my mood. Over time I have convinced myself that if I want a sweet badly enough, and actually take the time to make it from scratch, I must truly need it. Something about the recipe search, the baking process and the sugar must be vital to my well-being.
And so on this rainy Monday, I post about the cake I made for my cousin’s recent wedding shower. My mood is just so that I’d very much like to whip up one of these carrot cakes right now, but I’m so drained from the day that simply posting about it might actually be all I can currently do. I’m sure I’ll feel happier any minute now.
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 4 large eggs
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
• 3 cups finely grated carrots
• 1/2 cup golden raisins
1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Lightly grease 2 9 inch cake pans. Line bottoms of each with waxed paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix sugar and vegetable oil until well combined. Mix in eggs one at a time, incorporating each one thoroughly.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into the sugar mixture. Stir until incorporated.
4. Stir in carrots then raisins.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pans, dividing evening between the two. Bake until toothpick inserted into very center comes out cleanly and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pans. This should take about 45 minutes.
6. Cool in pans on cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Then turn out cakes onto racks and finish cooling before icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
• 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Cream together butter and cream cheese.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. Gradually add sugar.
Putting the Cake Together
(This is totally up to you, but below is how I did it.)
1. Once the cake has cooled completely, pipe icing onto top of first layer using an open round tip.
2. Place second cake piece on top of first iced layer, change tips. Starting in center of cake, work outwards in a circular motion, squeezing out a series of stars until the top of the cake is covered, or until you are satisfied. Make sure to chill the frosting when stars begin to lose their definition. You want the icing to be fairly solid when piping onto cake. Keep cake and frosting refrigerated.