Carrot Cake – this recipe ain’t playin’!

Ok, ladies and gents, hold on to your hats. I’ve baked a lot of cakes in my day. Some were genius (I’m thinking of your Devil Dog), and some were not-so-great (I’m thinking of you Red Velvet). This carrot cake recipe is perhaps one of the best in my stock – moist and delish are the words of the day. And now, it’s all yours. I don’t even put icing on it! I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese icing (gasp!), but have no fear, as this cake works great solo. Without further ado….enjoy!

The (real) Carrot Cake of Orchard House

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I like the chunky)
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional – I don’t use ’em)
  • (I’m contemplating adding 1/2 cup golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, pineapple, sugars and 3 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.


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