I simply adore carrot cake. It is neck-in-neck with my mother’s caramel cake as my absolute favorite cake. Carrot cake is moist, it is sinfully rich (especially with cream cheese frosting), and you can enjoy it for breakfast and no one will give a second look. Its main ingredient is a vegetable AND most carrot cake recipes are both straightforward and simple.
There’s no down side – well maybe my backside (!) – after eating too much cake. That being said, carrot cake is also a wonderful cake to share…at a picnic or a potluck or at the office. Coffee klatsch time! However, I have made an observation or rather, have a question about men and carrot cake. In my experience, they don’t seem to care for it, at least not overtly.
Now my dear hubby will eat a piece or two of my carrot cake – even eat a slice of leftover cake (I think its better the next day) of this own free will. But he would never order it in a restaurant or request that I make it – ever. I’ve never heard a man say, “Alright! Carrot cake! Can’t wait to have a slice.” Or utter anything to that effect – like I have heard women, with passion in their voices, say many times.
Do men not like carrot cake? Like I said, when presented with a nice big fresh hunk most I know devour it. So what’s up with the lack of carrot cake love, men? Is eating a vegetable in a dessert off-putting for you? Or are carrots in cake form not considered “manly”? Is there some secret anti- carrot cake ‘man-law’? Inquiring minds would like to know. Enlighten me to your take on men’s blasé attitude toward carrot cake… please.
I call this recipe “perfect” because it is my perfect carrot cake – no raisins, no coconut and no pineapple. I do like nuts – either pecan or walnuts in my carrot cake. And I also shred my own carrots, preferably whole ones – not the mini carrots as I find them too watery for cake. The credit for this fine recipe belongs to Marian Morash and her Victory Garden cookbook. My copy was published way back in 1987 (newest version published 2010) and yes, it is based off the PBS television series. It’s an excellent cookbook and I have made many wonderful recipes from its pages. If you ever come across a copy I suggest checking it out!
Perfect Carrot Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground mace
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease either a 9” x 13” baking pan, a 10-inch tube/Bundt pan or (3) 8-inch round cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat together the sugar and the oil. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the flour mixture. Stir in the carrots and then the nuts. Pour in the batter and tap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the 45-50 minutes for the baking pan, 50-60 minutes for the tube pan, and 25-30 minutes if baking in the 8-inch pans. If you insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean it is done. If it comes out with batter on it, it’s not… so keep baking and check again in 5-8 minutes.
Cool cake on a rack. If using the tube pan or the 8-inch rounds, cool 15 minutes and then invert and remove from the pan. Cool and frost with classic cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 (8) oz package cream cheese, softened
- 4 tbl. butter, softened
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream the butter and cream cheese. Slowly add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time until you’ve mixed in 3 cups. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add more confectioners sugar a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is at your desired consistency.
Note: If you are making a 3-layer cake you may prefer more frosting. I suggest using 12 oz of cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter and 6-7 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Also increase the lemon juice to 1 tablespoon.