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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet Memories

I don't know about you, but there are certain food items that I'll see - on a menu, in a bakery, at someone's house - and I'll automatically attach them to a person.  Usually, that person is my Mom.  Or, as Bella calls her, RaRa.

There were certain things Mom would cook/bake on a regular basis when we were kids that now make me automatically think of her when I see them.  Things like Pasta e Fagioli, Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake (where IS that recipe, Mom?), pasta with sauce, meatballs, sausage, etc...and this, Carrot Cake (with Paula Deen's Cream Cheese Frosting).

I rarely make this because Frank doesn't like carrot cake (???), but sometimes, I just can't resist.  Even with some healthy substitutions (which I've included in parentheses), it's DELICIOUS.

Mom's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/2 c all purpose flour      
2 c sugar  (take out 1/2 cup and use 1/2 cup Splenda)
2 tsp cinnamon   
1 tsp baking soda    
2 tsp baking powder     
1/2 tsp salt    
1 1/4c salad oil  (sub 1 cup applesauce for 1/4 cup oil)
1/3 c milk    
4 eggs
1 c nuts (walnuts are my favorite)
3 c finely grated carrots      
1/2 c raisins (optional)
***If you like a spicier batter - add about 1/2 tsp. each of ground cloves, allspice and ginger***
Preheat oven to 325....grease 10" tube pan generously.
Into large mixing bowl, measure first nine ingredients (plus other spices if you use them).  With mixer at low speed, mix ingredients until moist....increase speed to high and mix for 4 to 5 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl.
Add carrots, nuts and raisins and mix together by hand.  
Pour batter into pan....bake for 60-70 minutes....cool well before topping with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Linked to: Sweets for a Saturday, hosted by Sweet As Sugar Cookies

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At February 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Pam said...

I love carrot cake - this looks like a wonderful recipe.

At February 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Ann said...

Melissa, my baby girl (she's 23) is wild for carrot cake. I must make this for her. Bella is beautiful. Enjoy every minute!

At February 10, 2011 at 6:02 PM , Blogger Victor said...

Looks sweet and delicious!

At February 11, 2011 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My step-son loves carrot cake, so I make it for him for his birthday every year - although there can't be any nuts or raisins! And I don't try to make it healthy - you need all that butter and oil to make it taste good!

At February 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Blogger Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

mybizzy, it actually tastes REALLY good with the subs!

At February 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM , Blogger Reeni said...

Your cake looks scrumptious Melissa! Especially with cream cheese frosting! Food has so much memory tied to it - I do the same thing!

At April 8, 2011 at 11:37 PM , Blogger Jenn said...

I don't think I have ever seen a carrot cake recipe with milk in it before? Carrot cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes and I have always wondered if it would taste the same if I substituted some of the applesauce for the oil, so since you have done that before, how would you describe it? By the way, how could you not like carrot cake? Crazy?

At April 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM , Blogger Lora said...

I am going to make this later today. Is the salad oil, vegetable oil? I google but want to be sure that your mom uses that. I m going to use a bundt pan so I will post the result tomorrow evening : )

At April 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM , Blogger Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Lora, yes, vegetable oil! Let me know how you like it!

At April 27, 2011 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Lora said...

This cake was so good. Everyone loved it and my Aunt even said it was the best she has had....

At September 2, 2011 at 1:55 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

Oh how I love your healthy substitutions and so glad to know the cake still turns out fantastic. I also like your idea to spice things up. That's just how I am.


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