Happy Easter everyone!! Hope you celebrated this special day with friends and family. I hosted a group of lovely ladies for an Easter tea & dessert and wanted to make something special. And I knew exactly which recipe to go to. There was no need for a Pinterest or Allrecipes.com search this time around. No evaluating one recipe against another to find the best one. All I had to do was go to my personal recipe book - and pull up the recipe for the most perfect carrot cake.
As the title of this blog post suggests, this is my mama's ex-boyfriend's mother's recipe. Did you follow all that? No joke! I have my mom's high school boyfriend's family to thank for this recipe (thank you Miss Patsy!) It all started on a night that my mom went over to her boyfriend, Larry's, house for dinner. (I think for Baton Rouge in 1966, that was a common date night activity?) After dinner, his mom said that they were having carrot cake for dessert. My mom had never heard of such a thing - who would put carrots in their cake? How gross! But being the polite, Southern, young lady that she was (and still is), she graciously took a piece and took a bite... And it was the most amazing cake my mom had ever had!. So amazing, that she immediately requested the recipe and made it her signature birthday cake every year after that!
So growing up, this was the only carrot cake I knew. To me, it was perfection. Moist and tender, full of cinnamon and pecans, and just the right amount of cream cheese frosting. For me and my mom, this was the gold standard (or 14 carrot gold standard?) of carrot cakes. There would be no raisins nor pineapple, no coconut nor walnuts (pecans only, please!) EVER, in our carrot cake. We say, give us a carrot cake with just that and some pecans for good measure. Any other additions are just not welcome. (We really take our carrot cake seriously!) But once you try this recipe, you'll understand why. Check out the recipe below and try it for yourself!
MY MAMA'S EX-BOYFRIEND'S MOTHER'S CARROT CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups Wesson oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted & chopped, divided
- 3 cups carrots, grated (about 5-6 whole carrots)
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 8oz bar of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
- First, preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour, two round cake pans, set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, mix sugar and oil together. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift (or whisk) together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add 1 cup of pecans to the flour mixture and then slowly add to the liquid mixture. Mix until fully combined.
- Add grated carrots, a small amount at a time. Mix just until combined.
- Divide batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting and assembly.
- For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Add enough milk to get your desired consistency.
- To assemble, level tops of each cake, as necessary. Place one cake on a platter and scoop about 2/3 cup of frosting. Spread over the top of this first layer. Add the top layer of the cake and use remaining frosting to cover the top and side of the cake. Top the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted pecans.