The holidays are now officially over. Deep breaths. Sigh. Repeat. Easter came upon us faster than green grass through a goose this year at The Delawder Matthews household, and although we didn’t celebrate it’s passing with “The Hunt” as usual, we did manage to spend some time with my family. Saturday afternoon we had a delightful BBQ Ham lunch outside on the deck, enjoying the windy sunshine-filled day, and Sunday we attended church, followed by an Easter buffet at one of our favorite local restaurants.
This year I spent hours debating with myself over whether or not to make my dad his Aunt Celia’s Carrot Cake, and yes, I literally mean hours. I thought about it at work, while doing errands, while looking at multiple other options on Pinterest, and even while trying to force myself to fall asleep at night. Eventually, I ended up baking the cake at ten o’clock the evening before our little family gathering. Nothing like waiting till the very last moment. Oh wait, there’s a reason you shouldn’t do that. When you lack an ingredient that late at night, you are forced to improvise. So even though I had chosen to make the cake exactly by the rules, so that my father would be happy, I had to veer away from the recipe, and switch things up a bit. Running out of canola oil isn’t such a bad thing, as long as you have extra virgin olive oil on hand, and add a touch more vanilla to hide its stronger flavor. A crisis was averted, the cake came out of the oven before midnight, and I managed to get a few hours of sleep, before waking up early to make deviled eggs, icing for the cake, clean the house, and fifty miscellaneous other little chores before my parents arrived.
So, I’m hoping you won’t notice the sad little butterflies that are adorning my simple little carrot cake. I spent a whole ten minutes making them, without any of the correct supplies to pretty them up for their debut. I had gum paste, a butterfly plunger cutter, and not a whole lotta time to use either one. Next time around, I will utilize color dust to give the butterflies a more subtle coloring, and I will also try not to wait until the very last minute to devise a decorating plan, because that rarely works in my favor and inevitably makes me feel like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Canola Oil
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Eggs, Room Temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 (10-oz.) Bag Shredded Carrots
- Crisco and Flour for Greasing Bundt Pan
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- 1 (8-oz) Package Cream Cheese
- Zest of One Lemon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On medium speed, mix the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla for 2 minutes.
- Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- Chop the shredded carrots up very fine and then mix them into the cake batter using a silicone spatula.
- Grease and flour a Bundt pan, and pour the cake batter into the pan, tapping it on the counter lightly to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour.
- Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes, before flipping it out onto a serving plate or cake stand.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.
- Cream the butter, cream cheese, and lemon zest together for 2 minutes, on medium speed.
- Add the vanilla, and continue to cream for 1 minute.
- Decrease the speed to low, slowly add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and mix for an additional 2 minutes.
- Make sure to grease and flour your Bundt pan, to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. If your cake does stick, it will be fairly easy to piece back together, and the icing will hide any faults.
- Make sure to cover and refrigerate this cake if you don’t consume it in the first day after you bake it.
- Add raisins or chocolate chips to the cake batter.
- Press toasted chopped walnuts or pecans into the icing.
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