This original carrot cake recipe uses fresh carrots and cream cheese frosting.
One difference I have noticed between my beloved sister and myself, is that when we are baking, I really prefer to make cookies and bars, while Em tends to bake a lot of cakes.
The real problem with this is that she and I live in different states, so if I want a sample, I have to make it myself. I’m turning it over to Em now, to tell you about her latest genius cake creation.
Whenever I’m thinking about recipes that I could underwrite to this blog, I have to do my homework to make sure I’m not repeating something Jen has already done.
This week I decided to make a carrot cake as a homecoming surprise for my sister-in-law who has been out of town caring for her 94-year-old grandmother for two weeks because, let’s be honest, she’s kind of a saint. My husband requested carrot cake.
I figured, of course Jen has already done a carrot cake recipe, but then I checked, and then I double-checked. Then I triple-checked only to find that no such recipe existed on that pages of Jen’s Favorite Cookies. Upon a little introspection, I’ve decided both to right this wrong and disown my sister for having a baking blog without this obvious and amazing staple.
I discovered not too long ago that people either love or loathe carrot cake, which I find surprising since carrot is one of the few cakes that I actually enjoy. Having said that, I ordered a slice of carrot cake from a bakery once and I learned that day how painful and cruel life can sometimes be because I bit into it and found a raisin.
Maybe people who dislike carrot cake have only tasted the ones riddled with superfluous garbage like raisins and walnuts. “Yuck!” said the woman who is posting a recipe with ginger and lemon zest in a cream cheese frosting.
I guess I get it though, putting vegetables in cake sounds a little off-putting, albeit markedly less offensive than the time my Mom put vegetables in Jell-O (true story).
Another possibility is that none of these carrot cake haters has had a carrot cake made specifically for them…a really fun gesture when you’re not trying to take photos of your creation afterword to make it look like you know what you’re doing, which I never do.
So, you know, ignore the smears of orange frosting where there used to be lettering because the welcome home gesture was both hilarious and well-deserved.
Want more? Try these made-from-scratch cakes!
- 1½ Cups flour
- ½ Cup sugar
- ½ Cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- ¾ Cup vegetable oil
- 1½ Cup grated carrots
- drizzle of honey
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
- ¼ powdered sugar
- ¼ milk
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated finely
- zest of 1 lemon
- For the cake: . Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper (trust me).
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add eggs and vegetable oil until well mixed. Add carrots and mix.
- Pour into pan. Drizzle with honey. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until a cake test comes out clean). Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until smooth.
- Add more powdered sugar and/or milk to get a consistency you like.