My mother loves (and I mean LOVES) carrot cake. Growing up, she made it more like a banana bread texture and in a loaf pan. The first time I made this recipe for her, she didn’t recognize it as carrot cake. She loved the way it was much lighter and more crumbly in texture.
The second time I made it for her, I made the cream cheese frosting too, but she insisted she didn’t want any on her piece of cake. Now there’s one thing that you should know about my mother. I think she was so deprived of sugar in any form as a child, that she has an aversion to it now. What a sad sugar-free childhood, huh?
Anyway, I told her she had to try one bite of the cake with this frosting. She reluctantly let me slather some of the delectable cream cheese frosting and her bite and her face resembled one of a blind person gaining sight for the first time. First, the corners of her mouth curled up and she tried to contain a slight chuckle as she continued chewing and swallowing this miraculous explosion of flavor in her mouth. She finally realized something I’ve been trying to tell her for years……..mothers don’t always know better!
Although the frosting is simple, it really alters the overall taste of each bite. The creaminess offsets the crunch of the walnuts and flakiness of the cake. If you don’t believe me, make this cake. Take one bite with no frosting. Then take one bite with frosting. I think you’ll agree that this mother knows better!!
adapted from thepioneerwoman.com
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 whole eggs
2 cups flour
½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
1 stick regular butter, softened
1 package (8 Oz) cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your pan.
Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and combine. Then add carrots, walnuts and raisins and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured pan (bundt, sheet cake, 9 x 13 pan) and bake at 350F until done, 25 (sheet cake) to 50 (Bundt pan) minutes, depending on the pan you use. Cool completely.
In larger bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla and blend. Spread on cooled carrot cake.