The last two years, I've shared pictures and directions for making a bunny cake. This cake is a cherished Easter tradition at my house. This year, I thought I'd share the recipe for the Easter cake I made before I had kids. Just like the bunny cake, this recipe also came from a high school home ec class. Unlike the bunny cake which starts with a cake mix, this cake is made from scratch.
If you haven't already guessed, the blog title is a play on words for the best carrot cake I've ever eaten. It's different from most carrot cake recipes I've seen. One, it doesn't use pineapple. Two, it uses brown sugar instead of white. Three, instead of being flavored only with cinnamon, it also uses nutmeg and cloves. Speaking of spices, check your spices ahead of time to make sure they're good. If they have little or no aroma, throw them out and buy new ones. If you can't smell them, you won't be able to taste them either.
Before you start mixing anything, do the chopping, grating, sifting and measuring. Once you've done all this, making the cake is, well, a piece of cake!
Finely chop some of the walnuts and coarsely chop the rest.
Grate the carrots. This is fast and easy to do if you have a food processor. If you're like me and don't have one, grate the carrots by hand, making sure you don't grate them into long strips.
Sift some flour and then measure out three cups. Sift the flour again with the baking powder and salt. Sifting removes any lumps, helps blend ingredients and incorporates air which makes the ingredients lighter.
Measure the remaining ingredients. Unlike white sugar which is spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off, brown sugar needs to be packed into the measuring cup. When it's removed, the brown sugar will retain the shape of the cup.
Once all the prep work is done, it only takes a few minutes to mix up the cake batter. Use a mixer to combine the brown sugar, eggs, oil and spices. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the carrots and coarsely chopped walnuts.
Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Instead of flouring the pans, divide the finely chopped walnuts between the three pans. The walnuts take the place of the flour and add some texture to the layers. It will also play a role when it comes time to assemble and frost the cake.
Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. I use a large cookie scoop to put equal amounts of batter in each pan.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. If you bake all three pans at the same time, rotate them once to ensure even baking. Take the pans out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Since this post is so long, I'm going to split it up into two parts. Check back later this week for directions on assembling, frosting and decorating this 24 carat cake.