I made some changes to my cousin’s recipe.
I made one round layer. Parchment paper is back in vogue for good reason. Trace the bottom of the pan, cut out the tracing. Set that aside. Grease and flour the pan and put the paper cut-out in the bottom. For the rest of the batter I made cupcakes with paper cups, the store bought type. I’m not ambitious enough to create my own. I do spray the cupcake cups with cooking spray so the papers can be peeled away. I hate it when half the cupcakes or muffins stick to the paper and go to waste or I scrape away the cake with my teeth when no one is looking. Forks are never around when you need them. Cooking spray works like a charm.
Cut the oil to one cup. For spices 2 tsp of cinnamon, 3/4 tsp each of ground ginger and nutmeg. 3/4 tsp. of salt, 1 3/4 tsp. of baking soda. I grated up 2 1/2 Cups of carrots (organic: who can stand the taste of fertilizers and pesticides?), of which I made easy work of using my food processor. It is the same little processor my Ex gave me thirty years ago.
Oops! I was clean out of brown sugar so I made my own. Here is a good link for a how to: http://joythebaker.com/2010/08/how-to-make-brown-sugar/ I made it in my stand mixer and did have to scrape the sugar down the sides of bowl. Took a little elbow grease but I got’er done.
I used 3/4 Cup of chopped walnuts, only one cup of raisins and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla, Mexican or Bourbon vanilla. I likes it strong. And I likes to drink my booze on those rare occasions of indulgence.
For the frosting, I admit it to be a flaming red light food. I bought some cream cheese frosting in a container, told my husband he was in charge of the frosting. I forgot to remind him to hide it from me. Let me just say, it wasn’t worth it.
The cake and the cupcakes took longer to bake than the average cake(s). Utilizing both the toothpick test and testing the top of the cakes to spring back when touched lightly guaranteed doneness. It is the OCD in me. All were allowed to cool on racks for 15 minutes before a sharp knife (what Native Americans called Andrew Jackson) inserted along the interior side of the layer to loosen it. The layer was placed upside down upon a cooling rack. Pan removed, the parchment paper was then peeled away and the cake allowed to cool. No, I didn’t scrape the cake crumbs off to taste. I have grown up a bit.
I tend to get carried away when I fill cupcake or muffin cups with batter. For those that overflowed unto the top of the pan I did run that same sharp blade between the pan and the overflow. The cupcakes were then tilted a bit on their sides to continue to cool completely.
This whole baking extravaganza took place on Christmas Eve, two plus weeks after my hubby’s original request to concoct a carrot cake. It was my Christmas present to him; he celebrates the occasion like a heathen, he just doesn’t. I do enjoy Christmas, and I have learned these 17 years of us together to go about it lightly, protecting my own feelings. My expectations are nil for his voluntary outward participation. He got cupcakes and a batch of Dory Greenspan’s World peace Cookies (A chocoholic’s answer to cocoa withdrawal). I will allow you to look the latter up, it is in her Cookie Cookbook. There is a sweet little story on how she named the recipe.
May your cookies gently crumble, your carrot cakes taste yummy, and let Peace prevail on earth, good friends.