So as I’ve mentioned, I cook when I’m stressed. But sometimes I also cook just because I love love love to bake. I’m generally the go-to dessert person for family holidays, because I take joy in it.
For last Thanksgiving, I was trying to come up with something to make in addition to the usual pumpkin pie. I know that my husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake, and the rest of us love it as well. In fact, my mom is allergic to most everything and generally doesn’t eat dessert at family gatherings, but I knew that she could eat the carrot cake as well so it would be perfect!
After much searching around, I found the perfect cake (though I didn’t know at the time just how perfect it would be!). It was quick and easy with just a twist of something different. The recipe comes from a bakery in Hawaii called Coffee Gallery, and my family not only agreed that it is the best carrot cake they’d ever had, but my dad and husband BOTH want me to bake it for their birthdays.
Well, their birthdays aren’t until August (yes both of them! I’ll be a busy baker in a couple months), but I realized that it’s been quite a while since I’ve made a good cake. So carrot cake it shall be! The house smells amazing while it’s baking! Can’t wait to try a slice…
of course, if I eat the whole cake before they get home, then no one shall be the wiser…. hmmm….
The Best Carrot Cake Ever. No Seriously!
- 2 cups sugar, granulated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups carrots, grated
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl combine, sugar, flour, salt, spices, and baking soda. Add oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add eggs; beat in one at a time. Mix batter completely and then stir in carrots and walnuts. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until golden brown.
The frosting used with this cake was a lemon cream cheese. No one particularly cared for the lemon in the frosting (just a tbsp of lemon juice), so I’m giving you a standard recipe for cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 oz cream cheese (i use the low-fat)
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
- 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high until well blended. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat on high until smooth and all sugar is mixed in. Add vanilla extract and beat on low to blend in vanilla.
When the cake has cooled, frost and then top with garnish (chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, chopped candied ginger, etc. I’m using the ginger today…).
Trust me when I say that your family/friends/co-workers/whomever will thank you for making this cake! How about you? What’s your go-to dessert when you feel like baking something sweet? Anything that gets rave reviews and has people begging you to make it again?
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