I have a confession to make: I love carrot cake. I've even been known to eat it for breakfast. Actually, what I think I really love is the cream cheese frosting it generally comes with. But cream cheese frosting tastes best on carrot cake...though a good red velvet cake might come in a close second. And apparently I've stumbled onto the best carrot cake recipe around, or so I'm told. I've even converted carrot cake haters into aficionados with one bite. Now this cake is the favorite in our house- even beating out the ever popular marble cake with chocolate frosting. I'm not sure where the recipe came from. I think it started out from one of those popular cookbooks like Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens, and then I tweaked it a bit here and there. Feel free to do some tweaking of your own, and let me know if you find an improvement!
1 c. white (granulated) sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 lb. bag carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1 c. finely chopped nuts
Note: I use my food processor to quickly chop the nuts, then switch to the shredder and shred the carrot in the same bowl. It saves a lot of time, compared to hand grating, and you don't get orange hands either!
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease 9"x13"x2" pan, grease and flour two 8" round cake tins, or grease or line 18 muffin tins.
In a large bowl, mix sugars, oil, and eggs. Beat by hand one minute.
Stir in other ingredients, except carrots and nuts, until moistened, beat one minute by hand. (No need for that upper arm workout after this step!)
Stir in carrots and nuts until well mixed.
Bake 40-44 min. (9x13 pan), 45-50 min. (rounds) or 25-30 min. (cupcakes) until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from round pans, if necessary. Allow to cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting (see below). Enjoy!!
Cream cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar
With an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, milk and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until spreadable. If frosting is too soft, chill before frosting or add powdered sugar until desired stiffness. Store in refrigerator.