When hosting a gathering in the fall, it’s handy to have plenty of desserts available to tempt various palates. Carrot cake boasts an antioxidant-rich main ingredient and offers some semblance of nutrition amid the sugar rush of other offerings. Plus, its orange hue fits in perfectly with the season.
This recipe for “Carrot Cake” from “Throw a Great Party: Inspired by Evenings in Paris with Jim Haynes” (iUniverse) by Mary Bartlett, Antonia Hoogewerf and Catherine Monnet yields two cakes, perfect for feeding a crowd.
4 cups sugar
2 cups oil, canola or safflower
2 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 pounds carrots, grated
2 cups nuts, chopped
2 1⁄2 raisins (optional)
Beat the sugar and eggs together until well blended. Stir in the oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine the egg mixture. Fold in carrots, nuts and raisins.
Divide the batter between two (9- x 13-inch) greased baking pans. Refrigerate the batter between baking times. Bake the cakes in a moderately hot oven (350 F) for approximately 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
Frost with cream cheese frosting. The cakes may be left in the pans for ease of serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
5 ounces butter
1 1⁄2 pounds powdered sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
Bring the cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Cream the two together until smooth. Add sugar gradually, shaking it through a strainer to get rid of the lumps and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until it has a good spreading consistency.