Each year for my birthday, Mum would always ask what kind of cake I wanted. While other kids would happily cry “chocolate/vanilla!” my answer was usually a bit different. Being an ardent fruit lover, I always requested a strawberry sponge cake from an Asian bakery or carrot cake.
Then, I learned that other kids did not share my affection for carrot cake. Everyone would sing happy birthday, and I’d blow out the candles, only to find that I was the only one who wanted birthday cake. The first time it happened, I was upset. The next time though, I happily ate my mom’s carrot cake, while the other kids dug into a store-bought chocolate cake with tasteless frosting balloons. More for me
Over the years, some of friends began to appreciate carrot cake as well. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that not every carrot cake tasted like mother dearest’s special version.
Mum always iced her walnut and pineapple studied cake with an AMAZING amaretto-cream cheese frosting. No restaurant or store-bought version could compare.
Upon learning how to bake, I tried out this recipe and found it just as good as a I remembered. Though it’s a bit more labor intensive than the average cake (if you don’t buy pre-shredded carrots), this gem of a cake is simply to die for—without a doubt, the best of its kind.
Let’s hope my kids think so too.
Super Moist Carrot Cake
Some kids will shy away from this cake, if you tell them that it contains vegetables. Solution: don’t tell them, and watch with glee as they gobble down every carrot-embellished bite. This cake is ridiculously moist and with just the right amount of spice. Slather on some of Mom’s amaretto-cream cheese frosting, and you’ll have kids renouncing the likes of store-bought cakes with frosting balloons.
Adapted from Mom (via Kathy Hunt)
1 cup sugar (slightly heaping)
2 cups flour
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
small can crushed pineapple
3 ½ cups carrots, shredded
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
2) In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well-combined and no lumps remain.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, and eggs. Add in shredded carrots and crushed pineapple.
4) Add the wet ingredient mixture to the flour mixture. Fold in chopped walnuts.
5) Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 55 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for doneness. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
Cream-Cheese Amaretto Frosting (the most delicious frosting EVER)
1 cup butter
1 8-oz block neufchatel lite cream cheese
1 tablespoon amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)
3 cups powdered sugar
Using a mixer (or a LOT of elbow grease), beat together butter, cream cheese, and amaretto. Stir in powdered sugar and continue beating until fluffy.
Alternatively, you could also make this into cupcakes for fun-sized deliciousness.
You’d probably have to reduce the baking time to about 18-20 minutes, but I can’t remember exactly.
Worse comes to worse, you might end up with carrot cake cake batter.
Oh man, that would be a happy birthday, indeed.