When the co-author of a cook book tells you to make the carrot cake, you do exactly that. The reason is simple, it’s because said carrot cake is ultra moist, full of crunchy pecans and cranberries, and slathered in a thick vanilla cream cheese frosting.
So that’s what the kids and I did. We (actually they) made this carrot cake from Three Many Cooks new cook book. The trio of ladies responsible for the book are Pam Anderson and her two daughters, Maggy and Sharon. The book is very unique and written with pages of golden memories, from Pam as a child growing up in and around the kitchen of her Southern parents and Maggy and Sharon as two kids growing up under Pam’s wing, an already fantastic cook ready to pass her knowledge to the kids. I know Pam and Maggy from my visits to The Big Traveling Potluck, a food blogger’s retreat which is one of the best I’ve ever attended.
When I received the book, I opened it, read snippets here and there and made mental notes in my head of how the recipes would taste. Next thing was to post a picture of it on Instagram because that’s how food bloggers prioritize life events, right? When Maggy mentioned the carrot cake, I was interested- I love carrot cake- but how could I not make some of the other two dozen or more recipes. The Cheese Drawer mac and Cheese almost blew out the carrot cake but I stuck to the recommendation. Mac and cheese, you will be on the table soon!
I thought it was fitting to get my two involved in this recipe. They already have an interest in what happens in the kitchen, though sometimes I wonder why considering my OSHA type safety rules and no food fight policies. One day I just need to let them go at it and see what the outcome will be. I’ll be hiding in the corner somewhere clenching my vacumn and organic counter spray.
I can’t wait to start working my way through the rest of this book, It’s real cooking and I’m completely down with that.
More carrot cake recipes to drool over!
Evil Olive- Naked Carrot Cake
Lazy Cat Kitchen- Vegan Carrot Cake
Recipe Geek- Carrot Cake Squares
Three Many Cooks Carrot Cake
- 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into small pieces
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 3/4 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil *
For The Frosting
- 2 packages cream cheese at room temperature 8oz each
- 2 tbsp sticks unsalted butter at room temperature 16
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered confectioner sugar
- Butter two 9 inch round cake pans and then dust with flour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the carrots to a food processor and pulse until well broken down. Transfer to a bowl and rinse the food processor.
- In another larger bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Transfer 1/4 cup of the flour mixture to another small bowl and add the cranberries and pecans to it.
- Lightly toss to coat.
- Add the eggs and both sugars to the food processor and mix for about 30 seconds and well mixed.
- Turn the processor to low and slowly add the oil through the top.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix with a spatula.
- Next add the carrots and the bowl of cranberry nut mixture and fold through.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes and fully set in the middle of each cake.
- Let the cakes cool on a wire rack before adding the frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed for about 3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix through, scraping the bowl down as you go.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping the bowl down after each cup.
- Turn the speed to high and beat for a further 3-4 minutes and the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Lay one of the cakes upside down onto a large plate.
- Scoop about 1 cup of the frosting onto the cake and spread it out towards the edge in even strokes.
- Lay the other cake on top facing the right way up.
- Top the cake with more frosting, spreading out and around the sides with a spatula or pallet knife.
- Refrigerate the cake until you're ready to serve.