I don’t remember the first time I had carrot cake. I remember thinking “Cake made from carrots? Gross!” What I didn’t know, but would quickly find out, is how tasty it is! Carrot cake done right is just…magical. Like Red Velvet Cake I knew there had to be a history behind it. Did someone just wake up one day and say “hey! why not vegetables as dessert?”. I mean, that’s kinda how it happened. It is said that carrot cake was first made in England in the World War II era (30s-40s) as a way to sweeten cake at a time when ingredients were rationed.
That’s the traditional carrot cake.
Then there’s carrot cake a la Black people. It’s spicier (more nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), nuttier, and has a cream cheese frosting (instead of a glaze or icing). My family doesn’t have its own recipe that I know of. So, I asked my good friend, Exhausted Mom M, to lend me her recipe. With her permission, I am sharing that recipe with you today.
What you’ll need:
- 1 to 2 10oz bags shredded carrots (to preference)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 to 1 cup raisins (to preference)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup pineapple juice (substitute water to reduce sugar)
- 3 cup all purpose flower
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tps salt
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (to preference)
- 3 8oz packs creme cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
What to do:
- About 1 hour before you begin, set out creme cheese and eggs. You want these to be room temperature to make mixing easier.
- In a medium bowl, combine carrots, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter two 10 inch cake pans (or cupcake cups).
- In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat eggs until mixed. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Add pineapple juice.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt. Add the dry mix to the wet mix from step 3 until completely mixed.
- Add the carrot mix and the walnuts.
- Pour evenly into the prepared dishes.
- Bake cakes pans for about 45 to 50 minutes depending on altitude. Bake cupcakes for about 25 to 30 minutes. Check to see if the cakes are done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. It should come out clean
- Cool and remove from pan. Then frost.
- If desired, freeze each cake or cupcake individually then place in a vacuum sealed bag to store for months
Creme Cheese Frosting (make this while the cake is baking)
- In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until thoroughly mixed and creamy.
- Add vanilla, then gradually stir in the sugar.
- Refrigerate until the cake is cooled and you are ready to ice your cake.
And that’s it! There’s your cream cheese frosted carrot cake courtesy of Exhausted Mom M.
As always, if you try out this recipe, let me know how it went. And let me know if you made any modifications to make this your own.