Shared Plates: October 2017 Contest Winner
When we first launched our Shared Plates competition in November 2016, we realized that some of the best food can be found in the kitchens of passionate home cooks. This comforting carrot cake gets right to the points of why we do Shared Plates month after month: Delectable dishes are ones that come from the heart.
“The inspiration behind my carrot cake recipe is my mother, Irma Jean Reed. As a young child my mother taught my two brothers and I to be different, create our own path, believe in ourselves, and more importantly, embrace change. I created my signature carrot cake to represent my childhood and celebrate my mom!
I hope you enjoy eating this cake as much as I enjoy making it.” – LaQuaintes Reed, @mssuganbutter
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups granulated sugar (sifted to remove lumps)
2 ¼ cups grated carrots
1 ½ cups walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 ¾ cups sifted cake flour
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup of diced pineapple
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray. Mix together sugar, oil, and eggs.
In a separate bowl sift together: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar, oil, and egg mixture. Mix until combined. Be careful not to over-mix. Fold raisins, nuts, carrots, and pineapples into mixture.
Divide the batter between the two pans. Place both pans on a cookie sheet and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack. (Do not remove the cake from the pans until cool.)
Tip: After the cakes have completely cooled, wrap them with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 3 hours. This will make adding the cream cheese frosting easy!
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 cups powdered sugar
32 ounces softened cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar (2 cups at a time) to mix until you achieve spreadable consistency.
Spread the cream cheese frosting onto the top of one cake, then stack the other on top. Frost both cakes and sprinkle with toasted chopped walnuts for garnish.