Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake!

This carrot cake would have tasted better if I had pulled together a home made frosting for it – but, instead, I used some “cream cheese flavour” frosting from a can. I’m not going to lie – even with subpar frosting, this cake totally hit the spot.  It’s SO carrot-y that it’s a bizarre shade of orange and brown (from the cinnamon and nutmeg) and so incredibly moist!

Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4.5 cups grated carrots

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a 9”x 13” sheet pan (or two 9″ pans) with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour,baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl (or in your stand mixer bowl) mix together eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  5. Stir in the grated carrots.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for approx. 45 to 50 minutes.
  7. Cake is done when a skewer in the middle is not goopy.
  8. Cool fully before frosting.

Notes:

You could add a cup of nuts and/or a cup of raisins to this if you felt like getting crazy with things. I am not a huge fan of raisins and was totally not surprised when I discovered that mine had expired a year ago – and decided not to use them.

This cake is really, really moist because it is full of oil. If you’re the sort of person who prefers to eat a bit lighter in the calorie department, consider swapping out some of the oil for some applesauce.

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Sugar Cookies and Frosting.

‘Tis the season to make cookies, right? So I searched all over the place to find a sugar cookie that wasn’t too crisp, wasn’t too soft, and wasn’t too difficult to make. I’m okay with making dough and putting it in the fridge for a bit – I’m not okay with anything that requires me to scald milk or anything along those lines.

And so, I present some soft, sweet, really tasty sugar cookies. The recipe is below – and I’m including the recipe for the frosting that I used because it, too, turned out to be quite lovely!

Unfrosted stars!

Unfrosted stars!

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

5 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sour cream, room temperature
    1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for a bit.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the sour cream and butter at a low speed. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Sloooooooowly add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, and mix until everything is combined. The dough will be sticky to touch.  Your mixer will probably protest a little. Scrape down the sides and make sure everything is combined!
  4. Divide dough into two chunks. Wrap each chunk in some plastic wrap and flatten them. Put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours – or up to 3 days.
  5. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Flour the crap out of your counter or work surface – this dough is sticky! Cover your rolling pin in flour, too.
  7. Set one of the chilled dough chunks on top of the floured surface and liberally coat the top with even more flour. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick.
  8. Cut out dough shapes using a cookie cutter. If needed, put flour on that, too.  Put the cut-outs onto your baking sheets.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Here’s the trick – bake them until there’s just the tiniest hint of brown on the bottom. This will keep them soft.
  11. Move the cookies to a rack to cool, then frost them!

 

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

When you frost them, the stars turn into circles! (No, not really.)

Sugar Cookie Frosting

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:
1  package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Beat cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute, or until creamy and soft. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat for another minute or two, to make sure everything is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Crank the mixer speed up to high and beat for 2 more minutes. Taste. Try not to eat all of it with a spoon. Add more powdered sugar if needed (for taste).