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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Today is my birthday and my husband, who has never baked a cake on his own, baked me a carrot cake completely from scratch!

When we were in Madera for Thanksgiving, I rummaged through my aunt’s recipe cards and found a few more of my mom’s recipes that I didn’t have.  One of the recipes was for a carrot cake that I remember eating when I was young.  I love carrot cake so I was thrilled to have a new (old) recipe to try!

When Justin surprised me by asking what kind of cake I wanted today, I first requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, a classic combination that I’ve always loved.  But at the last minute, I remembered my newly acquired carrot cake recipe and asked if he would be willing to give that a try instead.

I have to say that I’m pretty impressed.  Not only did he find all the ingredients on his own, he did absolutely everything without my help.  My only assigned tasks were carrot grating and pan greasing.  My husband normally does nothing in the kitchen besides making the occasional sandwich, so this new baking development is a rather nice surprise!

I have had a great birthday!  We went out to lunch and then I spent the afternoon shopping with birthday money and gift certificates.  I’ve been receiving birthday cards, phone calls, e-mails, text messages, as well as facebook and twitter greetings all day long.  Birthdays are so much fun in this digital age!  Thanks, everyone!

In addition to my birthday, today is the last day of November and therefore this is my last post for NaBloPoMo.  I shared a recipe with you every day this month (with the exception of Thanksgiving) and I’m finishing it off by sharing my mom’s carrot cake recipe, complete with cream cheese frosting!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Carrot Cake

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrot (about 4 medium/large carrots)
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together first six ingredients.  Stir in oil then stir in eggs, one a time.  Add carrots and stir until well blended then add nuts.  Divide batter between two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans and bake in preheated oven, 30-35 minutes for the 8-inch pans or 35-45 minutes for the 9-inch pans.  Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted the center comes out clean.  Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Edit 12/01/08: We decided that the cream cheese frosting from my mom’s recipe was way too sweet so I’ve removed it and am sharing another cream cheese frosting recipe that allows more of the cream cheese flavor to come through.  Hope you enjoy it!

2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and blend until well combined.  Blend in vanilla extract.  Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting is at room temp, beat with mixer til smooth).