* Reader Recipe
My good friend Susan brought Louise to The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner, and it was a mini Glamour reunion—we’d all worked there together as writers/editors when we were just starting our careers (a long time ago!). Louise and I had been out of touch since I left Glamour for Harper’s Bazaar, and it was as if time had stopped when she walked in with her carrot cake, which was indeed The Queen. She looks the same (don’t we all?), and we got right into the catching-up part as if we’d just been separated by a long holiday weekend. Now, Louise is a freelance editor and writer for The New York Times, she’s just moved out to LA from the burbs outside of NYC, lives near the beach with her husband now that all her kids are off at college…and it’s good to have another NYC friend close by. Her carrot cake is just how I love it: really moist, filled with lots of goodies, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting…amazing!
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
3/4 cup corn oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (or use 1 T lemon juice in 1 cup milk; let stand for 5 minutes, then use the 3/4 cup you need)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup golden raisins
4 oz. coconut flakes (plus…optional…another 4 oz. to toast for 5 minutes at 350 degrees for scattering on top of frosting)
Small can crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Sift together first five dry ingredients. Whisk together corn oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugars. Stir half the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture and blend. Add the eggs one at a time to the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the carrots, pecans, raisins, coconut, and pineapple (reserve liquid).
Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan, or 2 greased and floured loaf pans, or two 9- or 10-inch cake pans. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes–cake is done when cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Cool. If using a tube pan, split cake into three layers. If using two layers, split each layer in half. If making in loaf pans, I don’t split them at all.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, more if you like it sweeter
Pineapple juice, just enough to make it spreadable
Mix cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add juice a tiny tit at a time. Spread between layers and on top. Spread on sides if desired (you might need to double the recipe, or at least halve it again). If making loaf cakes, I ice the entire cake.