My mom introduced me to a new dessert craze WAY back in the 1970’s. She and my dad had devoured slices of Classic Carrot Cake chock full of carrots, nuts and pineapple on a trip to St. Paul, then brought home the recipe to try at home.
My Love Affair with Carrot Cake
My rendezvous with carrot cake began with one innocent bite. As a teen, I wasn’t sure about a dessert named after a vegetable. But my mom had turned us on to exotic fare (at least for Iowa) like paella, baklava, wontons, and more. My hesitancy only lasted only a brief second. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting became my new favorite dessert.
Have Cake, Will Travel
One of the carrot cake recipes my mom tested on us was from the The New Basics Cookbook. It became the gold standard in my eyes. I’ve taken this cake to a retreat in Harbor Springs, Michigan, a massive Halloween party in Brown County, Indiana, a dear friend’s 50th birthday party and to the cardiac cath lab where Bill works. Whether I bake up a half batch in a 9 x 13 or go all out with this layered gem, it’s well loved by all those who indulge. To make those long trips, I freeze the cake and place it in a cooler for the trek. The recipients are always delighted I went to the extra effort. The pictured carrot cake stayed right in my fridge till I served it to our friends and family at our annual 4th of July cookout last night. A few lucky guests even took some slices home.
Serves: 12 servings
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, beaten slightly
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1½ cups chopped pecans (plus more to garnish if desired)
- 1½ cups shredded coconut
- 1⅓ cups pureed cooked carrots
- ¾ cup drained crushed pineapple
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease two 9 inch cake pans; line with parchment. Grease parchment.
- Sift or whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat till well combined. Mix in nuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
- Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30-40 minutes (I have really heavy cake pans and mine take closer to one hour). Edges should pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center of cake should come out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Cool about 3 hours before icing.
- To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter till smooth. Sift powdered sugar into bowl and mix well till no lumps remain. Add vanilla and mix well.
More Fantastic Recipes That Travel from My Sunday Supper Friends
- Almond Flour Brownies by Recipe for Perfection
- Cherry Blueberry Pie by Pies and Plots
- Cherry Pound Cake with Lime Glaze by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Classic Carrot Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- No Bake Banana Pie in a Jar by Our Good Life
- No Bake Millionaire Shortbread Cookies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Oatmeal Raisin Banana Bars by What Smells So Good?
Mains in Motion
- Baby Back Pork Loin Ribs by The Freshman Cook
- BBQ Chicken On The Grill To Go by Family Foodie
- Chicken Salad Skewers by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cobb Salad in a Jar by Life Tastes Good
- Farro with Eggplant and Tomato by Cooking Chat
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole by Simply Healthy Family
- Pan Bagnat (Provençal Tuna Sandwich) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Pastitsio by Food Done Light
- Roasted Vegetable Tart by Adventures in All Things Food
- Spinach Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Vegan SuperFood Bowl by Sustainable Dad
- Grilled Corn, Bean & Radish Salad by Feeding Big
- Heirloom Tomato Salsa by Nosh My Way
- Parmesan Pasta Salad by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Pomodoro Fresco Pasta Salad by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Cherry Crumble No-Bake Energy Bars by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Energy Balls by Noshing With The Nolands
- Sunflower Seed Oatmeal Bars by Magnolia Days
- 5 Comfort Food Tips by Sunday Supper Movement
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