Forty five years ago my mother adapted a carrot cake recipe she’d been given reducing the oil by half and adding applesauce to make up the difference.. That may not seem like such an innovation right now, but when my mother did it, it was inspirational. And delicious.
What follows is the recipe for my mother’s carrot cake. It is a little bit of work, but, truly worth the effort.
A couple of things before you get started. One, grate your carrots first. Two, allow an hour to bake and twice that to cool. Three, this is a BIG cake. (I once tried to make cupcakes, at my husband’s request. This recipe makes 4 million cupcakes. Don’t do it. Save yourself!) And, finally, this cake is delicious the day it’s baked…but it makes your knees weak the next day.
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs beaten.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups of fresh grated carrots (straight from your farmer are the sweetest!)
8 ounces (1 cup) apple sauce (homemade with apples fresh from the orchard is great!)
1 cup of golden raisins (but any raisins will do)
13 x 9 inch pan.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grate the carrots and set aside.
3. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder.
4. Beat together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs.
5. Spoon the flour mixture into the bowl with the oil, sugar, and eggs. Beat together until blended.
6. Slowly add the grated carrots, apple sauce, and raisins…alternating until all are added.
7. When all ingredients are combined, pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan and bake in a 350 degree (F) oven for an hour or until done (when a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the cake with nothing or a crumb on it).
8. Cool for 90 minutes to two hours before you ice. Don’t skip the icing. Really, don’t .
Ice with butter cream icing: Beat together a stick of good quality salted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons milk (or more to get the desired consistency), and nearly a pound of powdered sugar (or less, to get the desired amount and consistency). This icing is delicious but is a feel by recipe. No exact amounts. Try it. Work our your sweetness and texture. It will be one of those recipes you just know how to do. And one you will return to often.