A Recipe to Stay in for: Carrot cake

With the last of the snow melted away and the cold air giving way to a crisp cool breeze, you can feel Spring is here.  The trees have begun to show buds and flowers are popping up everywhere, putting people into a good mood now that the cold weather and hassle of a very snowy winter has disappeared.

Everywhere in stores people are getting ready for Easter with signs of bunnies, flowers and pastel colors.  What better time of season then to celebrate with family and friends by baking a delicious Carrot Cake?

Carrot Cake is a sweet and decadent delicacy that is less fating and better for your diet than other cakes.  Your prep time for this cake will be around 20 minutes and baking time is about 40 minutes depending upon your oven.  This delicious cake can serve up to 16 people but you may want to bake two, as people are sure to want seconds.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of flour (sifted preferably)
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of well chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces of carrot baby food
  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • 1 cup of coconut flaked

How to prepare:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Older ovens may have to be set to 375 degrees.

Grease and then lightly flour a bundt pan that is preferably 10 inches.

Sift together in a large bowl the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.

In another large bowl, beat on medium oil and sugar until the mixture is very smooth, then add in one egg at a time, beating on medium still.  When the mixture is smooth, stir in the vanilla extract and baby food carrots, keeping the mixture moving with your spoon.

Next, beat the flour mixture in slowly to the egg mixture.  Make sure to have no lumps in the batter, as it should be smooth by this point.

Stir in the chopped pecans, coconut and grated carrots.

Pour the mixture into the bundt pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes then carefully turn it upside down on a serving tray and let it cool completely.

*I recommend you use a cream cheese frosting.  To make frosting:  In a medium bowl, combine 3 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar, 1 package of Neufchatel cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 ¼ teaspoons of vanilla.  Beat until smooth, and spread atop cooled cake.  Decorate as desired.

It’s no April Fools joke that your family will love this cake.  Have a happy and enjoyable Spring from all of us at NEast!

A Recipe to Stay in For is an economical alternative to Food For Thought, a NEast restaurant review column written by Donna Ward that runs every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See all of Donna’s reviews here. Read other NEastPhilly columns here.

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