Carrot Cake Loaves

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I used my trusty carrot cake recipe, but doubled it and made four loaves, one to eat now, two to give, and one for the freezer.  I used buttermilk, as it gives a denser texture, which is nice in a loaf — you want to be able to spread a bit of jam and slap on a nice bit of Cheddar cheese without the slice crumbling to pieces.  I don’t normally add nuts to the carrot cake, but this time I did, as I knew who the eaters would be.  I whizzed  1  1/2 cups of pecan halves in the food processor till they were very finely chopped and stirred them in with the grated carrots.

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coconut

3 cups grated carrots

3 eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk (or ½  – 2/3 cup buttermilk, which give a denser texture)

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add coconut  and grated carrots and mix.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil and buttermilk.  Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  Bake in two 8” layer pans, using parchment to line the pans, or butter and flour.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  This recipe will make about 18 cupcakes or 2 loaf pans (increase baking time to about 40 minutes for the loaf pans)

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Carrot Cake disguised as Wedding Cupcakes

My son was recently married, so now we have a new daughter (in-law)!  I made the wedding cake.  The bride asked for cupcakes with a small cake to cut into for  pictures.  She’s a fan of carrot cake,  so that made it easy.  Carrot cake is a nice firm cake, very well suited to the extra handling that comes with wedding cakes.  This is my refined version, I’ve reduced the sugar, fat and eggs significantly from the original recipe, but it hasn’t lost anything, except some calories!

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coconut (I use sweetened flaked)

3 cups grated carrot

3 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.   In a separate smaller bowl, stir together eggs, oil and milk.    Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring (use a folding technique) just to combine.  Pour batter into greased and floured pans and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes till golden brown.  This recipe will make  two 8″ layers, OR about 18 large cupcakes OR a 6″ x 3″ round layer pan (which is what I used for the wedding cake).

The cupcakes were decorated with cream cheese icing, and the little cake with fondant.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened (low-fat does not make good icing)

1/3 cup margarine (I use heart smart Becel)

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

3-4 cups icing sugar, sift after measuring (amount depends on desired consistency)

For the wedding cupcakes, I added:

2-3 drops of almond extract (helps reduce the sweetness factor)

1/3 tsp glycerine (keeps the icing from getting hard and crusty)

Beat together cream cheese and margarine.  Add flavors and glycerine, if using.  Gradually add icing sugar, mixing well after each addition.  Icing may be thinned, if necessary, with a small addition of corn syrup.

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