Grandma’s carrot cake

18 Jan

My grandma’s holiday desserts were always unpredictable.

“I decided not to use the lamb cake pan this year,” she announced unexpectedly one Easter.

“Don’t worry, it’s carrot cake,” she lied about her pumpkin-cake counterfeit to my suspicious brother one Christmas.

“I didn’t do anything differently,” she responded to my mother’s inquiry about a frosting tasting more of cream cheese than of confectioners sugar one Thanksgiving.

So when the holiday baking soon (understandably) became my duty, it proved—if not innovative or complex—reliably consistent.

But when I recently began adapting my grandma’s holiday recipes for my gluten-free diet, I feared a relapse into her baking’s trademark volatility.

Surprisingly, however, her delicious recipe for a rich, moist carrot cake has evolved into the most authentic, consistent, and—during this past holiday season—frequently requested dessert in my gluten-free baking repertoire.

1 and 1/2 cups of canola oil
2 cups of sugar
2 and 1/2 cups of grated carrots
4 eggs
2 and 1/2 cups of Meister’s all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt

Combine the first four ingredients. Sift together the dry ingredients, add to the wet mixture, and mix well. Bake in a greased tube pan at 350 degrees for one hour. Allow cake to cool, and frost with cream-cheese frosting.

6 ounces of Safeway or Trader Joe’s cream cheese
2 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pound of confectioners sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons of milk

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, and then the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar and enough milk to make the frosting of spreading consistency. Then frost and serve. (And, every once in a while, top with chopped nuts for an unpredictable holiday surprise.)


One Response to “Grandma’s carrot cake”

  1. emily January 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    oh yum! this looks delicious as does the accompanying hot drink–is it tea?

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