Most Delicious Ever Carrot Cake

I’ve taken my favorite go-to carrot cake recipe and modified it after our trip to Sedona.  At a little gem in Oak Creek Canyon called the Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market we had arguably the most decadent, scrumptious carrot cake muffins in a courtyard garden where you could enjoy a cup of soup, sandwich, glass of wine or bottle of beer with a treat from their bakery.  It was so amazing in fact that after our accidental discovery we purposely went there as we left Sedona.  This time I noted every nuance that made them so delicious.  This is something I frequently do; my journey through life is fueled by my passion for food.  And I’m darn successful at identifying, then re-creating the food that inspired me.  So, now I’m sharing my recipe with you.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 c canola oil
1 1/2 c sugar
4 eggs, well-beaten
3 c grated carrots
1/2 c diced pineapple
1/2 c coconut
2 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
2 t allspice
1 c walnuts – toasted (this is important)
1 t vanilla extract

Cream together oil and sugar.  Fold in eggs, followed by carrots, pineapple and coconut.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Blend dry mixture into carrot mixture, blending well.  Once blended, add the nuts and vanilla.   Grease and sugar two 8 x 8 pans.   Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Cool before frosting.

FROSTING

1/2 c melted butter
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 c sifted powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract

Whip butter and cream cheese with sugar.  Add vanilla, mix well at high speed until smooth.  Spread on cake. Top with 1/2 c coarse chopped, toasted walnuts.

Serves 24 (or less if you cut big pieces). Chef Laura’s note: I use two 8×8 pans since the uncut cake stays moister longer.  You could do cupcakes, bake in two loaf pans or a 10×14 pan, just tweak the time baked.  Also, you can use pecans if you prefer them to walnuts, just toast them first, trust me!

Most Delicious Ever Carrot Cake
Most Delicious Ever Carrot Cake

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