Sunday, February 8, 2009

Carrot Cake / Muffins: Total Comfort for the Senses

Can you smell them? A mix of cinnamon & brown sugar & carrot filling the air ... I love that smell!

I have been wanting to make a batch for weeks ... but something always came up or I was missing something ingredient wise ... but today it all came together ... time, ingredients, energy & desire. I might not be able to wait until they're iced to have one...but I will wait until they cool a bit.

The recipe I use comes from a tattered copy of a book called "All-Occasion Cooking". It is a collection of recipes from Canadian kitchens ... featuring submissions from such well-known Canadians as Maureen Forrester, Margaret Atwood, Karen Kain, Pierre Berton, Wally Crouter and Gordie Howe. The book was created as a fund-raising project for Epilepsy Ontario. I was personally involved with it...had a short term job going through office buildings selling them! I did pretty good at it ... and glad that I kept one for myself ... it is full of wonderful recipes.

By far my fave is this one. The original recipe is for a cake...and I've made several of them...but I've played with it...added things...and figured out the exact right baking time for muffins too.

I decided to share the comfort...and the recipe... my augmented one. If you don't care for either walnuts or raisins (or both) they are totally optional.


2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups cake & pastry (or all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups raw carrot , grated
3/4 cup each chopped walnuts and sultana raisins (optional)

Combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time.

In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
Gradually stir into the oil mixture. Add carrots (and walnuts & raisins).
Beat for approximately 100 strokes (with a wooden spoon).

Grease 2 - 8" round cake pans; pour half the batter into each and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool completely . Frost with Cream Cheese Icing between layers and the outside.

(Makes 24 large)
Line two 12-spot muffin tins with large or giant paper cups. Fill each about 3/4 full.
Bake both at same time in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Cool completely and frost with Cream Cheese Icing .... my fave is Duncan Hines!


PS ... as I was typing the ingredients ... it hit me ... I forgot the salt!
Just sampled one ... and seems this could be optional too ...
for those who are sodium conscious!
Makes them a bit sweeter...rather than a sweet/salty taste.


Maggie R said...

Hi Marie..
How are things in Pickering? Milder I hope. We have had a good melt here.... Hope it lasts. This recipe sounds delicious. Gonna try it for sure!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog and entering the OWOH giveaway..
Sure has been a busy time on the blog!!!
I see you are interested in Tatting. I just signed up for online classes.... I want to learn it so badly!!
better go for now
skipping over puddles and mud in Ingersoll!!!!!

Marie Alton said...

Hi Maggie! It was sunny & mild here too...and the snow has shrunk way down & icy areas melted too!

I'm so in awe of the OWOH event and really want to get in on the next one ... but this year spent hours clicking links and signing up for draws!

Tatting...I did try the traditional shuttle style but never got the hang of it...needle tatting I totally get. The needle makes all the stitches even. Got on quite a tangent a couple of years ago...and produced a whole box of medallions & trims. Sent several over to Australia as gifts for the gals who donated their time to put together all the Katrina blocks. I add them from time to time on my CQ pieces.

I'm sure you'll love it.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Marie,Yes I can smell them... yummy!!
When you said you were going to make some Carrot muffins.. i said I wanted to make some cake and I did.. after I found a recipe.. Boy do we love carrot cake round here.. there is hardly any left now.. but I really want to copy your recipe and try it next time.. it is different than the one I found...

Thanks so much!!!

Marie Alton said...

Hi Gwen ... isn't it funny once that idea gets in your head ya just have to make it?...glad you found the same comfort I did...both olfactory and in the ol' tastebuds!

Oh try this one...I know you'll love it!

Linda H said...

Hi Marie, I too love Carrot Cake and muffins. But I don't like the way the cake will go soggy from the Cream Cheese Icing, if it lasts more than a few days (which usually is NOT a problem at my house!) So, here's a solution you might like to try, if your cake gets the "soggies".. a Cream Cheese Sauce, instead of Icing:
Blend 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese with 1 egg yolk, approx. 2 cups of icing sugar, a dash of salt,
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract, and enough milk to give the desired sauce consistency - don't make it too runny. Store in covered container in fridge. Spoon over cake just before serving. Also excellent on Chocolate Cake. Yummmm

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