Today was James’ birthday, and he asked for carrot cake. I spent part of the afternoon browsing through recipes and came up with a mish-mash of things I wanted to try. I was inspired by this recipe here, among others. The cake turned out great! It was tender and fragrant with just the right combination of spices, so I thought I’d share my results:

James’ Carrot Cake

scant 2 c sugar
3 c flour
3/4 t of Salt
4 1/2 t of baking powder
3/4 t of baking soda
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 1/4 t ginger
3/4 t ground cloves

4 1/2  c shredded Carrots
Juice 3 oranges (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 c Canola Oil
2 t vanilla

1 c raisins
1 c boiling water
1 c pecans, toasted 10 min. at 350 degrees, cooled and chopped fine.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package Organic Neufchatel Cream Cheese or Vegan Cream Cheese
1/2 c non-hydrogenated margarine
3-4 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 350.

In a med. bowl, mix dry ingredients. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir to combine. Pour into two 9-inch round greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool.

To make filling, pour boiling water over raisins and allow to soak until cooled. Pour off most of the water, then put raisins in the blender and purée.

To make the frosting, whip cream cheese and margarine with vanilla then add powdered sugar until frosting reaches a thick smooth consistency stir in orange zest.

When cake is completely cool, spread filling on top of first layer, then spread frosting on top. Sprinkle pecans on top of frosting. Place 2nd layer on top of first. spread filling thinly on top of 2nd layer, then frost entire cake and garnish with pecans.

Oh yes, an ornament… I’m making this cute little stocking today, featured on the Beansprout Creations blog. It looks like she began designing an ornament a week back in September, I haven’t looked through all of them yet, but this one sure is cute.

Christmas Stocking, from Beansprout Creations
Christmas Stocking, from Beansprout Creations

Christmas Ornament Crochet Along Day 6, a stocking, and a Recipe