Mom's Carrot Cake
This is a “mom” recipe if there ever was one. One bowl, a wooden spoon, and a genius baby food ingredient hack make this carrot cake what it is. My mom made it every chance she got during my childhood, and I can only guess it was because she saw the look (and frosting) on my face while I devoured it. I've made it for many occasions as an adult and have a few friends who demand it as their birthday cake year after year. Just like mom, the look on their face while indulging in this carrot cake is the reason why I do it!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1 ½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts**
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, strained***
2 4oz jars carrot baby food
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
WHAT YOU'LL DO
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a large bowl, stir all cake ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Grease a Bundt pan with cooking spray and pour in the batter. 2 round pans make a lovely layer cake, and a 13x9" sheet pan makes a lovely sheet cake. Cupcakes are perfect here as well and usually take about 20-25 minutes bake yielding about 2 dozen.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool completely on a rack.
Now, let's make the frosting. Beat 16oz cream cheese, 2 sticks unsalted butter and 3 cups powdered sugar together in a stand mixer.
Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat 4-6 minutes, until fluffy and white.
Use a bit of frosting to hold cake in place, then flip it out onto a stand or plate. Frost casually. Decorate with whole walnuts on top for extra nostalgia.
Place cake in the fridge and let it get cold. I find it’s best after as much time in the fridge as possible, and It's shelf-life is amazing! Like eat it on day 4 for breakfast kind of shelf-life.
*Gluten free All-Purpose 1:1 flour can be used.
**Any other nut can be used, or nuts can be left out all together.
***If you have a pineapple allergy, mashed bananas or apple sauce can be used.
Make it step-by-step with me below!
We are adults eating baby food.
Grab a bowl.
1. Add 1 ½ cup vegetable oil.
2. Add 2 cups sugar.
3. Add 3 eggs.
4. Add 2 cups flour.
5. Add 2 tsp cinnamon.
6. Add 2 tsp baking soda
7. Add 2 tsp vanilla.
8. Add 1 tsp salt.
9. Add 1 cup shredded coconut.
10. Add 1 cup walnuts.
11. Add 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, strained.
12. 2 4oz jars carrot baby food.
Use batter to do a face mask. Your skin will never look better.
Grab your bundt pan. If you don't have a bundt pan, 2 round pans make a lovely layer cake, and a 13x9" sheet pan makes a lovely sheet cake.
13. Grease a Bundt pan WELL with cooking spray.
14. Pour in your in batter. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Pro tip: wash this bowl with your tongue.
She's done! Cool completely on a rack.
15. Flip cake out of pan, let her cool even further while we make frosting.
16. Add 16 oz. cream cheese, softened, to the bowl of your mixer.
17. Add 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened.
18. Add 3 cups powdered sugar.
19. Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar together in a stand mixer.
20. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat 4-6 minutes, until fluffy and white.
Grab your cake.
21. Use a bit of frosting to hold cake in place, then flip it out onto a stand or plate.
22. Frost casually. Decorate with whole walnuts on top for extra nostalgia.
This is what we mean by "frost casually"...
This cake gets infinitely better after time in the fridge. If you can refrigerate before serving, do so. Otherwise leftovers will be DELIGHTFUL straight from the fridge. Carrot cake for breakfast, get into it!