I grated six cups of carrots yesterday. (I did this by hand because the truth is, there are times I’m too lazy to pull out the food processor yet not too lazy to grate a bunch of carrots by hand. It makes not a bit a sense to me either.) The grated carrots soaked in one cup of brown sugar overnight. I hydrated jumbo raisins in pineapple juice. I used four eggs, three cups of flour and one-and-a-half cups of sugar – all organic. I beat together, by hand so that the frosting wouldn’t get too soft, eight ounces of cream cheese, a stick of butter, two teaspoons of vanilla, and two-and-a-half cups of powdered sugar – sifted. I even pulled out the cute little designer paper liners to distinguish from nuts and no nuts. I made a complete mess of my teeny, tiny kitchen that I suspect was actually built for pixies and in which I have a total of twenty-four inches of counter space.
Result: eighteen perfect standard-sized carrot cake cupcakes with walnuts and twenty-four mini carrot cake cupcakes without. I packed up six of the larger cupcakes crowned with mounds of cream cheese frosting and walked them down the street to Dog’s Girlfriend’s house to give to her family. I didn’t take Dog with me because I couldn’t see me making it down my driveway with a tray of cupcakes in one hand and a hundred-pound Lab at the end of a leash in the other.
After I dropped off the cupcakes without incident and walked home, I went into the kitchen to find ten mini-cupcakes on the cooling rack instead of the twenty-three that were there when I left.
The cupcake thief left no crumbs or any of those cute little paper liners anywhere. I’m telling you, CSI wouldn’t be able to find a thing.
Dog is in his room.
6 C grated carrots
1 C brown sugar
1 C raisins
1 C crushed pineapple, well drained (reserve juice)
1 C vegetable oil
1 ½ C sugar
2 t vanilla extract
3 C flour
2 t baking soda
½ t salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 C chopped walnuts
GREASE and flour two 10- or three 8-inch cake pans.
COMBINE carrots and brown sugar in a medium bowl or large Ziploc bag. Let sit for at least an hour. Add raisins. You can plump up the raisins in warm water, rum, some of the juice from the crushed pineapple or all three. I threw it all in a Pyrex cup and heated it in the microwave for a minute on high and let it sit for a bit before draining the raisins and adding them to the carrots and brown sugar.
DRAIN the carrots, too, after you add the raisins to the carrots, or your cake will end up a big squishy mess. Press out as much of the extra juice as you can with a wooden spoon or whatever you have on hand.
BEAT the eggs and then add oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a REALLY big bowl. Mix in pineapple. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in carrots and raisins. Fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared pans.
BAKE at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let cool completely before frosting.
As for the frosting…
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ C butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ½ C powdered sugar
2 t vanilla extract
COMBINE butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl.
BEAT until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Don’t overdo it!
This frosting is so awesome that you’ll want to lick the beaters. Just be sure to turn off the mixer first… Alternately, you can do as I do: mix it by hand and just lick the spoon. Less call for stitches that way.