This was a very big and special weekend in our house. My father is turning ninety years-old this week and we had a houseful of people here to celebrate this momentous event. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday he replied, "I don't care". But when I started naming a list of different varieties and came to carrot cake, he stopped me and said, "that's what I want!" So, carrot cake it was.
This is the recipe I always turn to when I'm wanting carrot cake. It is all butter. In fact, I think this is the only carrot cake recipe I have ever seen using butter instead of oil. The second day we were commenting on how it tasted better than the day before. This is a cake that benefits from "setting around".
Mrs. McGregor's Carrot Cake
Food & Wine Magazine
Makes One 9-inch Cake
• 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 1/3 cup sugar
• 4 large eggs at room temperature
• 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 cups grated organic carrots
• 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
• Orange frosting (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease two 9-inch by 1 1/2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper.
2. At medium speed with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Over a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat dry ingredients into butter-egg mixture. Stir in the carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes.
4. Cool for 10 minutes and invert cakes onto racks. Peel off the paper.
5. Transfer layer, bottom side up, to a platter. Spread about 1 cup frosting over cake. Place second layer, right side up, on top. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Sprinkle with chopped pecans or grated orange zest.
• 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioner's sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1. Beat butter until soft. Beat in the sugar, orange zest and juice until fluffy.
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