Maureen and I met at work. And soon after we began working together we discovered we both had a love of cake and 80s music. After a few years, we decided to live together for a year so we could finally make the leap out of our parents’ houses and pretend to be real adults for a while. Because really, actually being a real adult is hard. It was quite an adventure. We worked together, lived together and still wanted to hang out together on the weekends or go grab drinks after work. I’d say we are pretty good friends.
So when Maureen’s birthday rolled around again this year, I did what every great friend does… I wanted to make her a cake. But what kind of cake to make?! Now, if you know Maureen, you know she’s a lover of cake. But not fancy cake with caramels and peanut butter and ganache. No. Maureen loves traditional cake. So when I asked, I was expecting yellow cake with vanilla or chocolate frosting. Her response “You can make carrot cake?” So I asked, “Is that you asking me if I will make you carrot cake or if I am capable of making it?” Response, “No question mark. You can make carrot cake.”
So, carrot cake it was.
Now, I have never made carrot cake by myself before and we all know how my homemade, from scratch cakes usually turn out so I did what any mediocre baker does… I called Ma. And she happened to “have an awesome carrot cake recipe!” It’s going to look crazy but trust me. It’s SO good.
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 cups of finely grated carrots (this was about 6 carrots for me)
1 8oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) – I like walnuts in this cake
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add in the cinnamon, eggs and oil and mix well. Add the last two or four ingredients depending on what you want in there. I wanted to decorate with walnuts so I didn’t mix those in. Just the pineapple and carrots for me! I also just used a large wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients. No need to get out my mixer.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
8oz cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and gradually add the sugar. I like my frosting stiff so I didn’t add any milk but if you want yours a little thinner, go ahead!
Once my cake was assembled and frosted, I chopped the walnuts very finely and pressed them into the side of the cake so the whole outside was covered in walnuts. So pretty!
Now, as for our love of 80s music – we, OF COURSE, went to see Mega 80s to celebrate! What a delightful 80s cover band!