Friday, November 28, 2008

Carrot Cake ~ Prize Winning Recipe
for Larry's Birthday



I wanted to make something special for my husband's birthday today, and carrot cake is his absolute favorite. Believe it or not in 21 years of marriage (and 23 birthdays total with him) I have never made him one! How did this escape me? I dunno. But this is the year. I needed to find a recipe so I searched on line for one that was prizewinning and widely reviewed and acclaimed. This was the one I settled on. We'll let you know how it tasted. The photo above is the finished product.


PRIZE WINNING CARROT CAKE

CAKE INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

ICING INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


DIRECTIONS  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. ** I wanted to make a round layer cake so I made it in two round pans and set oven timer for 30 minutes. Then I opened oven and checked every five minutes, re-setting the timer until it was perfectly done and knife inserted came out clean.  

To make cake: In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. If making the 9 x 13, bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If baking the two rounds, bake for about 30 minutes and check it until it's done. Let cool in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. 

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. (Icing was a bit too thick when I made it and not easily spreadable so I added 2-3 tsp. of milk and continued to mix.) Frost the cooled cake and sprinkle the top and sides with the nuts. Frost the cooled cake. Enjoy!

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