Monday, January 25, 2010

Tricia's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tricia is my pal. She was in my ward/congregation back in Southern California. And she makes the grandest carrot cake. She made it for a few church functions and my baby shower when Van was born. And I haven't had it since. I e-mailed Trish a few months ago and asked for the recipe. She responded and then I took about 6 months to actually make the dang thing. Finally I made it and we annihilated it.

This cake is delightfully moist. Of course that comes from the carrots, but pineapple as well. There is a slight hint of cinnamon and it pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting. Speaking of the cream cheese frosting, I approve of it. I normally don't approve of such cheese frivolities (remember how I am an imbecile and I don't like cheese?), but this frosting isn't too cheesy for my gusto. Maybe that has something to do with the 2 lbs of powdered sugar? Possibly.

Don't you love my cake plate? I know, me too.

With this cake comes The Great Raisin Debacle. The match up of Raisins In The Batter vs. No Raisins In The Batter. In one corner, we have the raisin haters. They would rather die a fiery death than have raisins in their cinnamon rolls. They dry heave at the sight of raisins dotting their oatmeal cookies. And in this cake, they wouldn't hear of something as insufferable as raisins.

In the other corner, we have the raisin supporters. Not only do they not mind raisins in their baked goods, they prefer them. They add them to muffins, cakes and cookies by the handful. They are often writing "MORE RAISINS!" on their grocery lists. They seek out the best of baked goods, with raisins as the reigning standard.

The real question is, where are you on this issue? What corner do you stand in? Raisin abolisher or raisins embracer?

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts, plus additional for garnish
1 cup raisins, optional

Set oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar and vegetable oil and mix with a hand mixer until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in pineapple, carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using.

Evenly pour batter between both prepared pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes and then remove from pans and cool completely on cooling rack. Spread cooled cake with cream cheese frosting.

Yields 1 double layer 9 inch cake.

For the frosting:
2 8 0z packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 lbs powdered sugar

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Once well combined, add powdered sugar.

Line a cake plate with strips of waxed paper or parchment paper. Set one 9 inch cake on top, being sure all plate surfaces are covered by paper. Spoon 1/4 of the frosting onto the cake and spread evenly with an off-set spatula or a butter knife. Top with other 9 inch cake. Spoon remaining frosting on top and spread, carefully spreading down and around the sides of the cakes. Gently remove paper from around the cake.

Yields enough frosting for a double layer 9 inch cake.

Rookie's Notes: I hope Trish doesn't hate me for changing a few things with her recipe. Her original recipe calls for 3/4 cup crushed pineapple. Instead, I bumped it up to 1 cup, which is an 8 oz can, so you don't have an extra 1/4 cup sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. I also added vanilla because I like my desserts filthy rich.

NOTE TO MY FAVORITE PERSON (that means you): I won't be posting for the next little while. I am moving and we all know that moving sucks away your life. So once I get back online, I will be back. Give me a week. Or so.


Mike and Jill said...

Yeah, I know you're talkin' to me! :)
This cake looks divine!

Sarah said...

I love carrot cake. And its healthy right? :)

Tricia said...

I'm honored. Speechless, really. You just made my freaking month! I think you're a genius.....more pineapple.....duh....i always have this little container of pineapple in the deep recesses of my freezer because of this recipe.....just waiting to be remembered (and always forgotten) for something else. And vanilla.......awesome! I don't mind one bit.

As for raisins, I despise raisins in cake. Or cinnamon rolls. But I devour oatmeal raisin cookies.....go figure? So, yeah, I made this cake with raisins the very first time.....bleh. It's been raisin-free ever since. :)

Sparks said...

Down with raisins. Don't eff with my baked goods.

What prompted the move?

Rochelle said...

No raisins--yuck! No nuts--yuck! (plus, I'm allergic) and No pineapple--yuck! What can I say? I'm a purist. It's just me and the carrots, baby. And a ton of cream cheesey goodness on top.

Kalli Ko said...

Raisins are Satan's dried fruit

karin said...

I love raisins and my husband does not. I might make this with one 9inch pan with and one without. Oh and no nuts because I am allergic so no one gets them.

AzĂșcar said...

RAISINS! I embrace!

It seems that Sparks and I are again at an impasse.

I especially love those plump golden raisins in cakes and cookies, YUM. Dark raisins should be plumped before adding to anything.

My mother in law makes oatmeal cookies and puts in chocolate covered raisins. Stroke of GENIUS! Try the Costco brand.


Cafe Johnsonia said...

So, I just made carrot cake last week as a side cake for my cousin's wedding. Anywho...I love raisins in anything, but with my carrot cake I usually do 1 cup craisins, 1 cup pulverized coconut, 1 cup chopped pecans, and NO pineapple. Sorry, I can't do the pineapple. I'll eat it if someone else makes it, but I don't do it in mine. (We're still friends, right?)

I love your cake plate. Where did you get it? I have small plates like that and would love to have a matching cake platter.

Crystal said...

No raisins, please no. Raisins are a guaranteed way for me to spare myself extra calories from what would otherwise be quickly-consumed baked goodness.

Sparks said...

You know, Azucario, we agree on the important things. Like how people who mess with your CJane deserve to be pulverized, verbally or otherwise, and that Rookie is worth reading and that big earrings are spectacular and that people who buy Peppermint Snow deserve what they get.

cessc said...

I am a rasin HATER! i do not know why...maybe the squishiness? But I love carrot cake!!!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I embrace raisins. SPH? A raisin hater through and through.

I knew I was your favorite person. :)

Good luck with the move. We moved when I was about 22 weeks pregnant with Graham and it was difficult. Will pray it goes smoothly.

Apples and Butter said...

Good luck with the move! My boyfriend is a huge fan of carrot cake so I will definitely be trying out this recipe - sans raisins.

Jessica said...

Sparks: Yet another thing we agree on. Raisins should not be in baked goods. They should be eaten directly from the raisin box and should never be found anywhere else.

Jessica said...

p.s. Rookie, I'm very excited about this carrot cake. I always make one for my birthday, but I may need to try this one out early. You know, give it a test run?

Sparks said...

Jessica, you make you own cake?

Very sad, dear.

Ingrid said...

Hate raisins! I want carrot cake but, um, did I mention that I hate raisins, which means I never eat carrot cake. Guess I need to make one for myself so I can leave OUT the raisins.

Ingrid said...

Hate raisins! I want carrot cake but, um, did I mention I hate raisins, which means I never eat carrot cake. Guess I need to make one for myself so I can leave OUT the raisins.

Jessica said...

Sad, Sparks?

Maybe a little.

But if the husband made it, I'm not sure it would go well. Which would be even more sad. Because then I'd have a crappy cake on my birthday. My freaking 30th birthday. Boo. Hoo.

Kristen said...

oh YUMO.
this certainly looks tasty!! Your recipes always rock - and although this is another lovely ladies it is sure to be YUMO. =)
can't wait to whip this up!!

rookie cookie said...

@Jessica - I make my own birthday cake too. If I want it to taste good, I have to be the one to do it. Too bad you don't live closer. Truly, I would make you this cake for your birthday. Really- I would.

BTW, just thought I would let you all know that being pregnant and moving and having a husband with a potential kidney stone is about the least fun a girl can have.

Jessica said...

Whitney, you're nice. Maybe one day we'll live close to each other and I'll take you up on the offer. My mom always makes her own birthday cake (German Chocolate, yum) so I guess I never thought it was weird.

Oh, and I'm sorry your week has been anything but fun. Really sorry.

Kristin said...

WHOA! that looks delicious! I am a raisin abolisher. yucko.

good luck with your move!

Megan and Keli'i said...

Definitely not a raisin lover in my carrot cake, but that looks delicious Rookie! I'll be making that for my Sunday treat.