{everyone needs a side of sparkle}


best ever carrot cake. ever.

These cooler evenings and crisp mornings leave me feeling a little love lorn for those warm August days. Days that felt like my favorite sweater wrapped around my shoulders - just the right weight of wool to keep the mere thought of a shiver away. Now that September is in full effect, I'm folding away the shorts and fluttery tank tops in favor of the long denim and corduroy blazers. The sandals are almost packed up and the boots have started to appear in the hall shoe tray. My morning coffee routine has shifted from making it iced in favor of hot.

As the last bottles of rosé are savored while the street lights start popping on before 7pm, I am comforted, as summer draws to a close, by all the delicious tastes fall brings. Ripe apples, late and juicy peaches, preserved berries and garden tomatoes, apple pies, mulled wine and carrot cake. Though not  favorited by everyone, carrot cake is high on my list of must-have fall delights. I've made many, but the recipe that follows is the tried and true method I look forward to concocting every time the air turns chilly when the September sun disappears behind a cloud... every time that favorite sweater of mine gets unpacked from winter storage... and every time I want my coffee hot in the mornings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 3 1/2 oz can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Glaze (recipe follows)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Line the bottoms of 3 9" round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper and sides of pans. Set pans aside.

Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Beat eggs, sugar, grapeseed oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Fold in carrot, pineapple, coconut and nuts. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers. Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine. image source unknown.
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  1. Virginia HinesSeptember 14, 2012

    ...yep, I'm making one this week....but it's me and Duncan Hines!
    LOVE to you and your sweet wee ones.


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