It's the Anthropologist's birthday today, so last night, I whipped up one of his favorite cakes: carrot cake. Half the batter became a dozen cupcakes, complete with festive wrappers, while the other half became an 8x8 sheet cake. Since that is by far too much cake for two people to really eat (I mean, we could, but we shouldn't), I'm going to send the cupcakes with him to his poker game tonight, for his buddies to enjoy.
I used two different recipes to create this moist, spiced cake. I based the cake mostly on the recipe in Cooking for the Clueless, with some inspiration from The Joy of Cooking. I also tweaked it a bit based on what I did (or didn't have) on hand.
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large)
1 c (or one small can) crushed pineapple, well drained
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Prepare the pan(s) you will use by lining them either with muffin cups or waxed paper. Or just grease them really well.
Whisk dry ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour mixture, stir, then add carrots and pineapple. (Note: You can also add 1/2 c chopped walnuts and 1 c golden raisins, but since I don't like either one, I didn't use them.) Pour into pans, then bake as such:
• Cupcake tins: 20 minutes
• 8x8 pans: 25 minutes
• 9x13 pan: 40 minutes,
or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove cake from pan and let cool thoroughly before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together. Add sugar in thirds until it reaches the desired consistency. Frost away!