Thursday, December 19, 2013

Connie's Carrot Cake

Winter Moon by Mindy Gledhill
This is one of the newer additions to my holiday music.  It's from her album of the same name.  The first adjective that comes to mind in trying to describe this song - and whole album, actually - is "charming."  Her voice is easy to listen to and it comes across like you're good friends - there's no pretense or glossy polish.  And, you know what?  She sounds like she's having fun!  It's relaxed.  Just like friends should be.  And that's fitting because I bring you a recipe today from one of my absolute dearest friends on this planet.

My friend, Connie, is a choice woman.
She has shown me, by example, what
being a good Christian person is all about.

We met each other 27 years ago
while living in the same small town in
upstate New York.  
I've never been one of those people who
could just walk up to someone new and
say, "Hi!  My name is Janice!  Are you new?"
But something came over me that day
at church when this lady walked in who
was obviously VERY pregnant.
I had only moved to the area a couple months 
earlier and understood how it felt to be the new person.
I walked over and introduced myself
and we just hit it right off immediately.

Do you believe in tender mercies from our Father in heaven?
Well, I certainly do -
and Connie was a tender mercy for me.
Although we only lived near each other
for five years,
we have remained friends across
the miles ever since.

This Carrot Cake isn't the only recipe
I've shared with you from the Connie Collection.
I've also shared her Baked Ziti recipe.

This week was my husband's birthday.
And if I'm not making a Cherry Cheesecake for him,
I'm making this Carrot Cake.
This year was a Carrot Cake year.

It makes a three-layer cake with
Cream Cheese Frosting.
Notice I didn't extend the frosting down the sides.
I just kind of let it ooze out the sides between the layers.
Carrot Cake is a rich dessert.
Holding back on the frosting
is a kindness!
A little goes a long way!

So here's to good friends and birthdays!
I'm celebrating them both!

Connie's Carrot Cake
2 c. flour (250 g)
1 t. kosher salt
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 1/2 t. cinnamon
2 c. sugar (400 g)
1 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. applesauce
4 eggs
3 medium carrots
1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted
optional - zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Grease three 9" cake pans with cooking spray.  I also like to line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper, which I also lightly spray.  Set aside.

Peel the carrots and shred them.  They should make about 3 cups of shredded carrots.  I like to take a paper towel and blot them a bit because they can release alot of liquid.  Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Whisk to combine well and set aside.

In a mixer bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, and eggs.  Whisk until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined.  Add the shredded carrots and 1 cup of the nuts and the orange zest, if using.  Stir just until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.  A toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center.  But also it will be a dark golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack then flip over and remove from pan and cool completely.

The Cream Cheese frosting I like to use (also Connie's) is:
8 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter
2 t. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar

Just cream together the cream cheese and butter then add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Frost between each layer and over the top.  Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top for a garnish.


  1. This sounds heavenly and I think I'll make it for Christmas dinner! I just love reading your stories and learning of your life after you left Warren. Please let me know when you write a book.
    Love you and Merry Christmas.
    Aunt Linda

    1. Merry Christmas! This would be a great dessert for Christmas dinner! As well as after a feast of Old Bay Shrimp! I'm glad you enjoy my stories. I so enjoy writing. Hope your family is all well. Just love having you around!