Moist cake anyone? Just look at the glaze on the top and sides glistening in the light. No cream cheese frosting needed for this carrot cake. And I love frosting…love it. This is one of the very few exceptions to my “cake is just there to hold up the frosting” opinion.
This is an old family recipe. It is one of the cakes we bake for the holidays. It has been a big part of my Christmas memories since I was little. I remember one of the times my mom had made it and invited some friends for dinner. The friend went on and on about how good the cake was and it was the best he ever had. He asked what kind of cake and my mom said “Carrot”. He stopped eating and said “Wait, I don’t like carrots” and we laughed and right then knew even carrot haters would like this cake. He did finish it and wanted more. How about a piece now?
There are a couple essential tools to make this cake. One is a 2 piece tube cake pan. Mine is an old aluminum one. Do not even try to use a bundt or any type of cake pan that does not come apart because you would never get it out the pan in one piece. The other is a grater; either a food processor or a hand grater. You cannot chop the carrots, they need to be grated using a medium grater. Not too small or it would be carrot pulp and not too coarse or it would be carrot chunks.
Making the cake is not difficult. You do not even have to grease the pan. Of course, I had an little extra time involved in this one. I pulled out my food processor to grate the carrots, pressed the button, and….nothing. Something in the lid had broken and it would not lock. Guess who did not have the right size hand grater or box grater either? That would be me. So off to the store I went and I am now the proud owner of a medium hand grater. (Replacement lid ordered too).
Holiday traditions keep memories alive through the years. The tradition of baking this carrot cake brings back so many good times with my family; the meals, conversations, and gatherings I will cherish forever. What is one of your family’s holiday traditions?
Glazed Carrot Cake
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1½ cups vegetable or canola oil
2 cups self-rising flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon black walnut flavoring
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 cups finely grated carrots
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each. Add flour and mix well. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla, and black walnut flavoring. Stir in nuts and carrots. Pour into ungreased tube cake pan. Bake for 1¼ hours at 350°F. You can check for doneness when a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Pour glaze over cake while still hot out of the oven.
For the glaze:
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons corn syrup
Put all glaze ingredients in a 3 quart saute pan. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it comes to a boil (about 5 minutes). It will be very foamy. Do not let it scorch or burn.
Pour the cooked glaze over the hot cake in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and let it sit on the counter overnight. To remove cake from the pan, run a knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Lift the cake and inside portion of tube pan out of the outer portion of the tube pan. Run a knife between the bottom of the cake and the pan. Use 2 wide spatulas to lift the cake up and out from the pan and on to a cake plate. Be careful! (May take an extra hand to do this). Keep cake covered. It does not have to be refrigerated.