Do you like carrot cake? My mother-in-law loves it and I like it too.
My friend Carol came over recently so I could teach her how to bake a decent cake. She’s struggled with it all her life and after eating a piece of my cake she begged and I said yes.
Right on time she showed up wearing an apron that went from her neck to her ankles and I knew she was just right for me. I can make a big mess in the kitchen. She also brought three cake mixes because she thought that was the only way you could make a cake. Cake mixes do make decent cakes but she needed to know how to make one from scratch because it’s really easy.
After mixing and stirring and a lot of coffee, she left with a cake she was proud of and the knowledge of how to make one at home but I was left with three cake mixes. She left them as a thank you and I don’t use cake mixes as a rule.
When I was in the shower this morning I was trying to think of something I could bake for my MIL’s dessert today and then it came to me. I could use up one of those cake mixes and turn it into something good. I figured I could make a carrot cake out of that mix and I did.
I added grated carrot, a little crushed pineapple, spices, a few sultanas and bingo, it was time to bake. The folks at the nursing home were thrilled with their carrot cake.
- 1 yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Moist Yellow)
- 2 cups grated carrots
- ½ cup water
- 3 eggs (slightly beaten)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup sultanas or raisins
- ½ cup crushed pineapple (do not drain) (you can leave this out if you hate pineapple)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 recipe of Martha Stewarts Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and preheat the oven to 180C/350F
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or any big bowl if you're using a spoon) add all the ingredients and beat at low speed just until everything is wet, then raise the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
- Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, I rotated the pans because my oven is small and I have one pan in the back and one in the front. If you have a fancier oven than my Miele with more than one shelf, disregard this.
- When a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan and place the layers on a rack to cool while you make the cream cheese frosting.
- Once you have the frosting made, frost the bottom layer and place the other layer on top and frost the sides and then the top.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Have you ever made something using a packaged cake mix? How did it turn out?