Friday, March 13, 2009



What a difference a day can make. We finally got over a major hurdle yesterday: we closed on the line of credit that will make the purchase of the North Carolina land possible. This means all the things we've planning for the weekend of the 27th of March will really happen. We'll close on the land, we'll meet with all the builders--things will start moving. Suddenly the future isn't as foggy as it was just yesterday. Amazing (and selfish) how bright the whole world can seem when your own place in it makes some sense!

This is a repeat of a great favorite. I had every intention of giving you a new recipe today, but the one I had in mind definitely needs work. It was an old recipe for a meat and potato casserole, written to the standards of the 1950s, and it left a lot of things out. All the added veggies gave off their juices and there was no place for them to go, and the potatoes never cooked through, even after 1 1/2 hours in the oven. It's got potential as a cozy and delicious meal, but not now.

So without further ado:

Cake :
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated, peeled carrots
1/2 cup white raisins
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained completely
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring, or 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Oil bottom and sides of a large (approximately 8” x 12") rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to blend. In larger bowl, whisk sugars, oil and buttermilk to blend. Whisk eggs into sugar mixture 1 at a time. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just blended. Stir in carrots, raisins, pineapple and ginger. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool cake on rack completely.

For the icing: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until creamy. Beat in maple syrup. Spread on cake.


Linda - SE PA said...

Woo-hoo - celebration dance time. Congrats on one phase complete and on to the next!

This recipe seems very decadent. I love a good carrot cake and have not had one with this additional richness. Sounds good - although I would think pure maple syrup will make a big difference?

Ralph said...

As you like on the maple, Linda. I've found the flavoring packs more of a punch unless you can get really good, really dark Grade B syrup, which is nearly impossible unless you live in Vermont or pay scads on mail order. If you use the flavoring it'll be your little secret! (I'm not above a short cut or two.)

Cuidado said...

Congratulations on jumping that hurdle. Whew! I love carrot cake and this recipe is a little different. A must try for the next time I am making it.

Ralph said...

I just made it for my sister's birthday tomorrow, Cuidado. Yum!

Anonymous said...

This is a good one. And thanks for joining the ranks of Citigroup with good news for this week. I see the stock market is moving again. Wish the housing market was. Two of my desparate clients just got the OK to re-fi. If you know anyone who's upside down, there is new money from Fannie Mae at Both my clients are in.

Ralph said...

Now, Z&M, if we can jsut get everything done before things get too exensive again!

That's a great link. Thanks for the info. I do know at least one person under water.

Mim said...

Yeah a cake to celebrate your move/building to NC.
How exciting.
Am so happy for you both.
Upwards and onwards.