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A carrot cake for a holiday treat

I hope you all had a great Christmas on the River experience. I am tired, but I had a great time!

I’m trying to rest a little before the hustle and bustle starts all over again. I was watching a little television, the Food Network, of course, and I saw Giada making her version of a carrot cake. It was interesting with marscarpone cheese and powdered sugar on top. It looked good but it gave me a craving for the traditional one.

I’m going to give you my traditional recipe to make for your next holiday function.

Best-Ever Carrot Cake

Cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups grated fresh carrots

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

3/4 cups raisins soaked in apple juice (optional)

Cake release or baker’s joy for three 9-inch pans

Frosting:

2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese at room temp

1 stick salted butter at room temp

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pans and line with parchment paper. Soak raisins.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots, drained raisins and nuts.

Pour evenly into pans. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper or cooling racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a cake plate and frost the outside. Decorate how you like and serve. You’ll love it. Take it to your next family gathering and you won’t have to bring anything home but the plate.

Until next time…….have fun in the kitchen, experiment, and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is the pastry chef at Napoleon’s.