Feel the love with ‘perfect’ carrot cake!

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!

Ingredients for the perfect carrot cake.

In this recipe, fresh carrots make a difference so shred your own. The Cuisinart makes quick work of it.

Making the batter is easy: first mix together the sugar, oil and eggs…

Then just add in the flour mixture.

Last, stir in the shredded carrots and chopped nuts.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. This recipe allows one to use a variety of pan sizes. You can even make cupcakes with this batter, just use cupcake liners.

After baking, cool on a rack. I made it easy on myself and simply frosted the cake in the pan I baked it in. But you can use a tube or bundt pan or make three 8-inch layers.

To make the frosting start by creaming the butter and cream cheese. Then add in the confectioners sugar about 1 cup at a time.

After adding about 3 cups of sugar add the flavorings of lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add more confectioner’s sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you prefer.

This is my preferred consistency – creamy and spreadable but thick enough to hold up in the humidity that can blanket the South.

Spread the frosting over the cake and you’re done. Now time for a piece with a big glass of milk!

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.

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6 thoughts on “Feel the love with ‘perfect’ carrot cake!

  1. Hey! One of my FAVORITE cakes is actually Carrot cake. We had a cook here at our Abbey who made the absolute best moist Carrot Cake. When she died she died with the recipe unfortunately. Even her daughter in law never had it written down. So MEN do like carrot cake. I am still searching for the perfect carrot cake that is actually moist. I will try yours posted here and perhaps it is the perfect one! Best wishes. Luke.

    • I have had 3 Cuisinart brand machines including the one you see in this blog and my ‘mini’, which I have had for well over 20 years. I use it all the time. Everything from chopping herbs to nuts to making mayo and salad dressings. I don’t know if they still make that size but they should! My third machine is probably still working but it got left with an ex-boyfriend years ago, so who knows! Luckily, my husband gave me this processor 2 years ago and I’ve been chopping and pureeing ever since. Cheers!

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