Okay, so for one of my friend's birthday, she wanted my homemade (from scratch) carrot cake. This cake is AMAZING! I wish I could take all the credit but I can't. I just know how to follow a recipe :) I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com years ago and have been using it ever since. I make this for church bake sales and it ALWAYS sells out. The only thing I did differently was to not use the pecans. If you know me, you'll know that I am pretty picky with my desserts. I have all these 'rules' and nuts in my desserts is a No-No..hence, no pecans :) I love nuts in other dishes, just not sweets. Just my personal preference. For those of you saying "I don't like carrot cake"...try this recipe first! I used to say the same thing. Store bought carrot cake is just not the tastiest thing, even from bakeries. However, when I was 19 I spent a month in the Dominican Republic on a missions trip and was there on my birthday. My sweet host mom made a carrot cake from scratch and inside I was like "NO, I don't like carrot cake!"...but my Momma raised me to be polite and always eat food someone takes time to make for me even if I don't love it. I am so glad I did, because it was amazing! So I thought about it for years and I found this recipe and loved it. Now, in these pictures, I am making a double batch because I am not allowed to make a carrot cake for someone else without making one for my hubby..House Rules (He LOVES it) :) So anyway...enough chatting for now..on to the recipe...
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
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan Or 2 9 inch round pans.
First peel the carrots and cut off the ends. If you want to be lazy ;-) then buy a bag of pre-shredded carrots. Ha! I like this way better because the pre-shredded carrots are thicker.
Here's the shredded carrots, remember, I'm making enough for two cakes which is why there are so many carrots. You need 3 cups. I usually use one of my Pampered Chef mixing bowls which has the cup measurements on the side.
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. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick put in the center comes out clean. Check at 40 minutes to be sure. You don't want to overcook it so it doesn't become dry. Now, if you use smaller round pans, you'll have to adjust the cooking times. It was between 35 and 45 minutes for the round pans that I used. But, everyone has a different oven. Just keep an eye on it, and take note in your recipe book once you figure out how long it takes to bake in your own oven.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. I usually stir in 1 cup of the sugar at a time so it doesn't go flying everywhere. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.