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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Carrot Cake...By Any Other Name

Do you have a recipe that is your 'go to' item when you need to bake something for an occasion or event? My recipe, which Aunt Marie Smith gave me many years ago, is for carrot cake. I love this recipe because it does not require the creaming of butter and sugar which for me is the most hated part of baking. Therefore any recipe which omits such creaming is great and this one is my favourite.

This recipe, faded and stained, appeared any time there was tragedy or triumph, sick or bereavement, amongst our family or friends. In addition, if I had to bring a food item to an event, I often took this cake. 

People like it as well. The cream cheese icing makes the most bland cake palatable of course. However this item was not often available for consumption at our house so when it appeared, it usually meant something happened. Whenever our daughter, Claire, saw the cake on the counter, she asked, "Who died?" Claire called it "the carrot cake of death."

Once as she finished her nursing practicum at the local hospital, Claire refused to take the cake as a thank you to her co-workers. She said, "I can't take that thing to a hospital. It's too risky." We made a different one for the occasion.

Now however, the cake has found new consumers because I make it for our December and May book club meetings. The carrot cake of death is now the cake for bookies. Odds are they will all survive.

    Aunt Marie's Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup oil (I use canola)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (not drained)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl and beat for two minutes at medium speed.

Bake in a greased 9 inch pan at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Cool the cake before icing it.

               Cream Cheese Icing

3 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp soft butter
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar (you may need more)

Combine cream cheese and butter. Add icing sugar and mix well. 

Ice the cake. You can sprinkle nuts over the top.


I often double this recipe to make a layer cake. I use two 9 inch round pans.

Check the cake after fifty minutes. 

Make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh. 

Sometimes I mix this cake by hand. It's a bit denser but delicious.


At the bookclub meeting, one of the women commented, "This cake is to die for."

"It's funny you should say that," I said.

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