Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aunt Nancy's Very Easy Carrot Cake


While my brother was in town last week, I cooked a little bit for a lot of people. On a normal day I don't have to make certain there is enough for 12 people to adequately eat dinner and dessert. One pie is enough for my family alone. But cooking for two families I doubled dinner and counted pieces for dessert. This carrot cake served everyone dinner once and there was enough for leftovers the next day. My brother said he's not usually a fan of carrot cake, but he ate this one twice. And his wife, was hoping there would be a piece left the third day.

They really enjoyed it, and it really couldn't be easier. No shredding involved. This carrot cake relies on baby food for its carrot flavor and color and moistness. When I went to the store, however, I found that baby food has changed a bit since I last fed a baby jarred food. What happened to the jars? What happened to junior food? Maybe it's my local stores, but none carried junior carrots (which technically should be a little lumpier than first foods), and no one carried carrots in a jar. So I estimated how much pureed carrot comes in a junior jar and ended up using all of those, er, plastic containers in the four pack. I went to the Gerber website and see that they still manufacture junior carrots, so if they are available in your area, use those. If not, I think the four small plastic containers are a pretty close equivalent.

This recipe come from my husband's Aunt Nancy. Because of tree nut allergies, I omit the nuts, but I'm certain this cake would be awesome with them.

Aunt Nancy's Very Easy Carrot Cake

3 jars junior baby food carrots (or a four-pack of beginner carrots)
2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. oil (I used light-tasting olive oil)
4 beaten eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. finely chopped pecans
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 pan.
Combine carrots, sugar and oil. Beat well. Add eggs, continuing to beat. Sift together dry ingredients (I am philosophically opposed to sifting, but go ahead if you want to); stir dry ingredients into carrot mixture and mix well. Sir in pecans and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in for 25 minutes longer (don't open the door). Remove from oven and cool on a rack. (Note: this cake always sinks a little in the middle -- it's the sign of a good scratch cake -- don't sweat it.)

1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. chopped nuts

When cake is cool, beat together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and whip until desired consistency is reached -- it should be creamy and smooth. Frost top of cake with a thick layer. Sprinkle with nuts.


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