My "little" brother's birthday was March 7th (he turned 28), but due to schedule conflicts between him, me & Johnny, and my parents, we celebrated today. My parents* kindly drove down from Plano, TX, and Jody drove quite a ways in Houston to our part of town. I baked Aunt Pat's Carrot Cake in honor of Jody's birth which was quite a feat since I had intermittent, annoying back spasms (again). But I enjoyed baking the cake; baking for someone you love produces Joy. I also love making familial recipes, ones passed down to each generation. I grew up eating Aunt Pat's Carrot Cake - I would turn my piece of cake on its side, eat the cake part first, savoring the rich icing last. I figure if Jan Karon shared Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake recipe with the world (I'm almost positive she did in the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader), then I should likewise share my Aunt's recipe with Blogdom - you will thank me:
Aunt Pat's Carrot Cake
1 box dark brown sugar (or 2 C sugar)
3/4 C vegetable oil
4 eggs, well beaten
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
2 C all-purpose flour
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 C pecans, broken or chopped
3 C carrots, grated (1 lb. carrots makes about 3 cups)
8 oz. organic cream cheese, very softened
1 box confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 stick organic butter, very softened
3 t lemon extract, or lemon juice to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Set out cream cheese and butter to soften.
3. Spray cake pan with Baking Pam (I used a 9 x 12 silver pan with a lid, just like my Aunt Pat's).
4. Mix sugar and oil. Add the beaten eggs and remaining dry ingredients into sugar & oil mixture and stir well. Then stir in the pecans and grated carrots.
5. Pour entire mixture into the cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (longer in sheet pan - in mine it takes about 45-50 minutes).
6. Take the cake out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
7. Mix icing ingredients together and ice the cake!
*My Mom gave me several of Nina's truly vintage aprons including the one she made for my Mom in 8th grade! The 8th grade apron even has my Mom's name stitched onto it. I can't wait 'til we buy a digital camera so I can model the aprons for y'all.
Posted by jenni at 10:00 PM