February 12, 2012

"The Best Carrot Cake"


(A special thank you to my sister, Monica, who took the picture of my carrot cake before it was sliced to pieces at the party.)

On February 11, 2012, my family got together for dinner to celebrate my Grandmommy's would-be 80th birthday.  For the dinner menu, we all brought dishes that she used to make.  When I was very young, one of my favorite things that she used to do was cut up little cubes of cheese and stick toothpicks in them for an appetizer.  As simple as that was, I always looked forward to it because I was (and still am) a cheese addict, so I brought that to the party.  Some other things she used to make were Waldorf salad; macaroni salad with green olives, cucumbers and eggs; green jello mold with walnuts; German chocolate cake; and, what I decided to contribute, carrot cake.  Unfortunately, I didn't have her carrot cake recipe but the one I did have was exceptional.  The recipe originated from SouthernLiving.com but I found it on MyRecipes and chose it because of the rave reviews.  I followed the recipe for the most part with the exception of adding nutmeg, subtracting some cinnamon and halving the buttermilk glaze because there was too much of it (this is all reflected in my recipe).  It was deemed "the best carrot cake I've ever had" from multiple people at the party -- and I agree!  The buttermilk glaze is what really puts this cake over the top.  It is so moist, flavorful and a definite must-try!  It is a very rich and sweet carrot cake that needs very little frosting.  



Ingredients:
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 2 c white sugar 
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil 
  • 3/4 c buttermilk 
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 c grated carrot 
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained 
  • 3 1/2 oz flaked coconut 
  • 1 c chopped pecans 
  • Cream cheese frosting
Buttermilk Glaze
  • 1 c sugar 
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c buttermilk 
  • 1/4 c butter (or margarine)
  • 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl, set aside.

Beat together the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla in a large bowl.  Gradually add in the flour mixture, until just blended.  

Fold in the carrots, pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Pour the batter into three 9-inch cake pans.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Meanwhile, make the buttermilk glaze.  In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and baking soda.  Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Boil for 4 minutes and remove from heat.  Stir in the vanilla.

When the cakes are done baking, pour the glaze evenly over each cake while still in the cake pan.  Allow to cool in the cake pans for 15 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely.  Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Top with nuts, flaked coconut, etc.

Enjoy!



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