Almond Carrot Cake


Hello there– Here’s my problem.  I made 2 of these carrot cakes for the group of fun young adults who show up at our house on Thursday nights.  But they left too much behind.  So this morning I had a carrot cake breakfast and have been nibbling on leftovers all day. Aren’t carrots healthy???

But I do love this version of carrot cake topped with super crunchy almonds and amaretto laced cream cheese frosting.  I think you’d love it too, but not for breakfast!


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. amaretto*
3 cups grated carrot (about 6 carrots)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cup)
2 tsp. amaretto
1 to 2 tab. milk or cream

Almonds on top:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds


Peel the carrots removing the top & bottom tips.  Grate them to get about 3 cups.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Then mix in the oil, eggs and amaretto.  Finally fold in the grated carrot.  The batter will be heavy!

Spoon the batter into two 9″ inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop them into a 350 degree over for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden and beautiful.  Let the cake cool completely before you put on the frosting.


To make the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until they are all blended.  then beat in the powdered sugar and amaretto.  If the batter seems too stiff, add a tablespoon of milk or two.  Be careful, too much milk will make soupy frosting!!

To make the candied almonds, put the 1/2 cup sugar and the almonds into a nonstick skillet.  Turn the heat to medium and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and turns to a a lovely caramel color.  Keep stirring until all the almonds are coated.  Then turn them out onto a piece of foil to cool.

You can layer the two cakes with the frosting for a tall two-layer cake, but I just made 2 one layer cakes because sometimes people just want a little piece of cake.  Top with the sugared almonds.  Beautiful.



Chocolate Carrot Cake

DSC01213Hey there– Last week we had a baby shower for new little Sebastian.  His dear mom is the nurse at school and we’re all so glad he’s here.  Another teacher and I were charged with gathering money and buying the gifts– Now that was fun!  –All those sweet little baby things (it’s fun spending someone else’s money!).  And Sebastian couldn’t be cuter.

And cakes. My job was to make cakes.  Here’s one that landed on the party table– carrot cake with a dose of chocolate, all that cream cheese frosting and candied almonds.  It was pretty delish, really.


3 carrots (grated about 1 1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 cube)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
DSC01148In a large mixing bowl, stir together the grated carrots, sugar, cocoa powder, oil and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Spoon the thick batter into a 9″ cake pan (or springform pan*) and bake it up at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until a sharp knife stuck in comes out clean.

When the cake is cooled make the frosting.  With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Then beat in the powdered sugar until it’s smooth and creamy.  If it seems a bit dry, add just a tsp of water– careful it’s so easy to make it gooey with too much water!

To make the candied almonds, put the sugar and almonds in a skillet.  Stir on medium heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes to a golden color.  Don’t stop. Keep stirring. It will take a few minutes.  When the almonds are coated with the melted sugar, scrape them onto a piece of foil on the counter (be careful that sugar is hot!) to cool and harden– just takes a minute.

Then spread the frosting over the cake and top it with the sweet almonds.

*I like to use a springform pan so that’s it’s easy to remove the cake from the pan–prettier to serve.

P.S.  This is a one layer cake.  Just double everything (except the sprinkle of almonds to make a standard 2 layer cake.


Carrot Cake Bars

IMG_6932Hey there–  Carrot cake has been around for a long time.  I wonder whoever thought to dump cups of shredded carrot into cake batter.  It doesn’t seem quite like a rational thing to do– but lucky for us, the results were pretty amazing!   And then, of course, there’s the matter of the genius who decided to add on the cream cheese frosting.  So thanks to the inventive cook who first pulled a carrot cake from the oven… We are indebted.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3)
2 eggs

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  The mix in the oil, carrots and eggs.  Scrape the batter into a 10″x7″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake it up at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
1 pound powdered sugar (1 box)
2 tsp. vanilla

With an electric mixer beat together all 4 ingredients until they are thoroughly blended.  Spread on to the cooled cake.

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Stir the pecans and sugar together in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the sugar melts and turns caramel color.  When the nuts are all coated with the melted sugar, spoon them out on to a piece of foil and let them cool before you touch those hot things!!   When they are cooled, sprinkle them on the cake.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

IMG_0889Good evening all–  Sunday evening supper. To tell the truth, Sunday supper around here is usually a thrown together quesadilla or peanut butter toast in front of the t.v.  But when the kids were young, lots of Sundays, it was pancakes for supper.  So in memory of those “good old days,” I’m making pancakes for Sunday supper this week– with a fresh, spicy, nutty twist– and loads of maple syrup!

2 cups grated carrot, about 2 large carrots
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tab. canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

Grate the carrots and set them aside.  Stir up the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and sugar.  Then add in the eggs, vanilla, oil and buttermilk*.  Finally stir in the carrots, coconut, currants and nuts.  Cook them up on a griddle sprayed with cooking spray (or butter, if your cholesterol is lower than mine) on medium heat.  Pour out small scoopfuls.  They do spread to get bigger on the pan!  Top with pecans and globs of maple syrup!  Hope you like them as much as we did.

*For butter milk, I just added a a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar to regular milk.

Julia Child on “Cake”



Just liked this so much,
I thought you should see it too.

What do you think Ani?



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Cakes.  I love them.  Here are eight great cakes–  Good Old Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Cherry Angel Food Cake, Apricot Cheesecake, Coconut Pecan Cake, Plum Cake, Heath Bar Pecan Cake, Simple Strawberry Cake.  Looking at these makes me want to throw a party!

You can find all these recipes on the blog (except the carrot cake, I’ll post it soon)– Just put the name in the search box… Happy Cake!!

Tiny Carrot Cakes

Hello all– In a bit my Monday night ladies are all coming to sit around the family room to share our stories, read a bit from our Bibles and pray.  There’s always a lot of laughter, a few concerns, sometimes even tears.  So I’m setting out these tiny carrot cakes and cups of coffee for them.  Monday nights–they’re the best.  I always look forward to time with these sustaining, lovable, old friends.

1 cup flour
1  cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 grated carrots
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.  Then stir in the oil and eggs.  The batter will be thick.  Then mix in the carrots and walnuts.  Use mini muffin papers or spray mini muffin tins wiht cooking spray.  Spoon in the batter (about 25 to 30 little cakes.  Bake them up at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes until they are firm to the touch.

Cream Cheese Drizzle:
4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
4 oz. butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth.  If the mixture seems a bit thin, you can stir in more powdered sugar.  Drizzle it over the little cakes when they are cooled with a pastry bag– or just drizzle it off the tines of a fork.

* If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon with 1/2 nutmeg will do just fine.

P.S.  I found the cutest little foil muffin holders super inexpensive at the Chinese Restaurant supply store, Kaimen, in San Francisco.  You just set them on a cookie sheet, no muffin tins required.  Cute for tarts and mini muffins.– Available if you live near SF (or a nice Chinese restaurant supply shop!).