I wasn’t inspired to write a blog post recently because I have nothing new to say about the coronavirus, and the scale of the crisis makes everything else feel trivial.
So I thought: Why not embrace the trivial? I’m at home with nothing else to do anyway. In that spirit, here’s my mom’s recipe for the best carrot cake ever.
My mom has been making this cake since 1984, thanks to a flour advertisement in Canadian Living magazine’s Rush Hour Cookbook Special.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled, not packed)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated carrots (firmly packed)
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (the kind that comes canned in its own syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in brown sugar, raisins, and nuts.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add vegetable oil, eggs, carrots, pineapple, and vanilla. Stir to combine ingredients until blended (but be careful not to over-mix).
Turn batter into a greased and floured cake pan.
Bake at 350 F for 40–45 min.
(These ingredients and baking time are suited to an 8″ square cake pan or a 6-cup tube pan, aka a standard bundt pan. Otherwise you can double the ingredients and bake them in a 9 x 13″ cake pan, but my mom says she can’t remember how long to bake that for so you’ll have to experiment.)
Also, I took the above carrot cake photo today and I’m pretty proud of it!
It’s much better than my first photo attempt:
Cream cheese icing
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add icing sugar gradually and beat to combine until smooth.
Tip: If you’re making a bundt cake, make a double batch of icing so you can ice the cake on the top and in the middle (let the cake cool, then cut it in half crosswise). Trust me, the result is the greatest carrot cake of all time.
One last photo highlighting the raisins: