Sep 13, 2010

Birthday Boy

I had always thought that carrot cakes were OK. Decent. A bit dry. Not very exciting. So when Hubby C requested a carrot cake for his birthday, I was surprised. Why on Earth, when I could make some amazing chocolately goodness, would he choose something with ::horror:: carrots in it? But I felt he was challenging my baking skills, and so I stepped up to the plate. I would give him anything he wanted.

And thus, I baked the best cake I have ever eaten in my life.

I randomly found this recipe on a blog called Whipped. I had bookmarked it for a completely separate recipe, but as I was scouring through all of my baking blogs in a desperate search for a carrot cake that I could make while living in Japan, I found this recipe. She said it was her No. 1 recipe, and she named it Luscious Carrot Cake with Walnuts, Pineapple & Coconut. How could I go wrong with that? When I gave Hubby C a list of three different carrot cakes, he said the same thing. "How could I possibly choose 'Martha Stewart's Carrot Cake' over 'Luscious Carrot Cake with Walnuts, Pineapple & Coconut'?" He couldn't, and our delicious adventure began.

I started with five big carrots that I peeled and prepped. The recipe calls for pureed carrots, so I stuck them in a pot of boiling water as I got the other stuff ready.

Sift together 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda 
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 
as you wait for your carrots to boil. Then wait some more. Poke the carrots with a fork or chopstick. Nope, not ready yet. Keeeeeeep waiting. What? They're done? Oh, good enough.

I don't have a food processor. And here's where things got frustrating. Sticking 5 soft, hot carrots in a blender sucks. Using a blender to do anything but make smoothies or margaritas sucks. But I tried. Again and again.

They just would not blend smoothly. So I...

Good enough. Oh, what's this now? The recipe calls for crushed pineapple! "Pineapple?" the boys asked in horror. "For moisture, I'm sure," I reassured them. They seemed satisfied. "Plus, it's crushed pineapple. You shouldn't be able to taste it." But, low and behold! There's always room for a bump in the road:

It worked out anyway. Just a lot more work. That's the story of this cake.

Next, to the sifted dry ingredients, add:
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil 
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

    Yes, I naturally got a little excited about the coconut and threw it in with some of the dry ingredients. No matter! It was fine anyway.

    Mix all of that up and fold in:
    • 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped 
    • 1 cup shredded coconut (if you hadn't added it already) 
    • 1 1/2 cups pureed cooked carrots

      It made a TON of batter. Enough for three cakes! I kid you not.

      But the most important one was the two-tiered birthday cake that I smothered in the most delicious cream cheese frosting.

      So, OK, it wasn't the most attractive cake. But it was luscious as promised. Supremely. I wish I could share the smell and the taste with you, because that - as always - is the best part. ::watering mouth:: My favorite part was the coconut (of course, as I LOVE coconut), but it really added a nice surprise to this dense and delectable carrot cake.

      All in all, it was the most delicious thing I have ever made. It tasted like a mixture between my banana bread and my pumpkin bread. It was solid, but still soft; it was flavorful without being overwhelming. Will I make it again? Hmmmm.... I'm sure I will again someday, but it was A LOT of work. Maybe when I get a food processor. And crushed pineapple.

      My rating: 5 out of 5!


      1. WAY too much work. But when it's appreciated by those who eat it, all that work is worth it. Crushed pineapple isn't easy to find here either. The cake looked beautiful and delicious.

      2. Mmm...I LOVE carrot cake!! Though honestly, if a boxed kit doesn't count, I have never actually made a cake from scratch,


      Tell me what you think