Nana's Carrot Cake
My Nana (home with the Lord for two years now) made the best carrot cake I ever tasted. Nothing ever lives up to this recipe, though I wonder if the fond memories trailing the scent of this cake in my kitchen are partially responsible.
Nana made it almost every Christmas Eve; it was our birthday cake for Jesus. The youngest grandchild always blew out the candles - and since I was the eldest grandchild of nine, I don't remember my turn. Nevertheless, I never turn down a piece because it always slides down my throat with a memory of Nana's tight hug squeezing me 'til I thought I'd break. Palpable proof of my grandmother's fierce love.
2 c flour
1-1/4 c vegetable oil
3 c grated carrots (finely grated)
2 c sugar
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Sift flour into a bowl and add oil, stirring slowly and constantly (a mixer is best).
Add carrots and mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, pour into 3 layer pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and cake pulls away from edge of pan.
1 8 oz. brick cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar (3-1/2 cups)
½ c toasted pecans
Soften cream cheese and butter. Mix well and add sugar. Stir and blend. Gradually add vanilla.
Spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or decorate with pecan halves. (I leave the nuts off because that’s how I liked it as a kid.)
Store in refrigerator (icing will melt at room temp).
I would also recommend making 1-1/2 times the icing – it’s just barely enough and you have to be frugal with it. If you make extra, you’ll have plenty, plus you can dip pretzels in the extra icing for a snack the next day.
Tip: Better than Pam in the pans, butter the pans, then fit a piece of buttered wax paper into the bottom. This will ensure your cake will retain its shape instead of leaving portions behind in the pan.
Jennifer Fromke is a lover of books, mother of three, and wife to one extraordinary man. Her debut novel is set to release in the spring of 2012 from Write Integrity Press. www.JenniferFromke.com.