Julie's Carrot Cake

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2 cups sugar
4 eggs…I use extra large eggs…always at room temperature for baking.
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups grated carrots

Beat eggs and add sugar until blended…add oil and continue to beat.

Mix flour, cinnamon, salt and soda with a fork in a separate bowl then add to the wet ingredients.

Fold in grated carrots.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F…I did for 27 minutes since I feel my oven cooks fast…use the “clean toothpick in the center” method for best results after 25 minutes to gage doneness.

Cool for a few minutes and remove from the pans and allow the cakes to totally adjust and be brought to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 box of confectioners’ sugar
2 blocks of 8 oz cream cheese…room temperature cream cheese.
3/4 to 1 stick butter…go on and use the whole stick and use GOOD butter!
2 teaspoons vanilla…good vanilla
Toasted Pecans…coated in melted butter and used for garnish…I used halves.

The tweaks that make this DIVINE:

Four cups of carrots. Grate and stir in cinnamon three days prior to baking the cake. Use enough cinnamon to be able to smell it, and give it a brownish color.

Toasted pecans… I used an Irish (Kerry Gold) unsalted butter that I melted then adding coarse salt. Plus, the coarse salt is pretty too! Single layer the nuts on an oven pan or baking sheet and toast on 350. Keep watch as they will burn…once they have begun to smell they’re bout ready! They should be slightly darker than their original color. Nothing better than the smell of toasted pecans!

Frosting: One stick (or equal) of quality butter – Julie likes the Italian one best, that comes from the Reggiano region. Kerry Gold, Land o Lakes, and Publix brand work well too. Don't forget to add a little salt when using unsalted.

Two boxes of cream cheese… And powdered sugar to taste. A whole box is way too sweet. Vanilla, just enough to smell and color should be slight...you don't want it too runny. I made the frosting the day before I frosted the cake so it would stiffen up a little, refrigerating it over night. The next day, I placed it on the counter for an hour or so before frosting the cake…just so everything and everyone is at room temperature. It will work fine too if your mix it and then frost the cake…just don’t frost a warm cake!

I made extra frosting with the increased butter and cream cheese for a three layer. If you are making the cake in a 13 X 9 pan, you won't need this much, so just use what is listed....unless of course, you just want to eat it on the side! 


- Recipe courtesy of James T. Farmer III


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