For President’s Day weekend, my husband and I went home to visit my parents and celebrate my dad’s birthday. For his birthday cake, my mom and I decided to make one of my dad’s favorites; carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The following recipe we obtained from Epicurious, but we made a couple changes based on a dilemma that came up during our preparation of the cake batter. First, this recipe calls for 1.5 cups of vegetable oil. We had 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, but then ran out. The only other oil we had on hand was extra virgin olive oil. We ended up using 1 full cup of olive oil. Using 1/2 cup of olive oil may not have altered the taste of the cake batter too much, but 1 full cup ended up drastically changing the taste. For this reason, we decided to add shredded coconut and crushed pineapple to the batter. To our relief, the cake came out delicious! No longer were there lingering after tastes of olive oil, but rather, the addition of the crushed pineapple and the shredded coconut masked the olive taste beautifully. Baking is generally characterized by accuracy and strict adherence to the recipe (Type A of the culinary world). Leaving out a teaspoon of this or adding 2 ounces of that can alter your confection completely. However, my mom and I were able to overcome our little problem by adding a few ingredients that we thought would make the cake taste better, while not jeopardizing its texture. In the end, the cake turned out moist and my dad was extremely satisfied!
- 2 c sugar
- 1.5 c vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 c flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3 c finely grated peeled carrots
- 1/2 c shredded coconut
- 1 15 oz. can crushed pineapple drained
- 2 c confectioner’s sugar
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/4 c unsalted butter at room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a bundt pan or three 9” cake pans if you prefer a layered cake.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and oil until combined.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time until each is incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture.
- Stir in the carrots, crushed pineapple, and shredded coconut.
- Pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat all the ingredients in a bowl until creamy and smooth.
- Spread the frosting on top of bundt cake or if making the layer cake, frost three of the cake tops and layer.