So, to keep him awake,
they fed him with cake,
Which amused that Old Person of Rheims."
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat eggs till frothy; slowly beat in oil.
- Gradually add flour mixture. Beat smooth. Mix in carrots and nuts. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
- Frosting: Blend soft butter and cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat smooth. Stir in vanilla and maple syrup.
- Frost between layers; Continue and frost top & sides of cake.
According to the food historians, our modern carrot cake most likely descended from Medieval carrot puddings enjoyed by people in this part of Europe. Carrots are an old world food. imported to the Americas by European settlers. In the 20th century carrot cake was re-introduced as a "healthy alternative" to traditional desserts. The first time was due to necessity; the second time was spurred by the popular [though oftimes misguided] wave of health foods. Is today's carrot cake healthy? It can be. It all depends upon the ingredients.
- baked in pastry, like pumpkin pie
- steamed and served with sauce, like plum pudding
- baked in pans and served with icing, like cake
"26. Pudding of Carrot. Pare off some of the Crust of Manchet-Bread, and grate of half as much of the rest as there is of the Root, which must also be grated: Then take half a Pint of fresh Cream or New Milk, half a Pound of fresh Butter, six new laid Eggs (taking out three of the Whites) mash and mingle them well with the Cream and Butter: Then put in the grated Bread and Carrot, with near half a Pound of Sugar; and a little Salt; some grated Nutmeg and beaten Spice; and pour all into a convenient Dish or Pan, butter'd, to keep the Ingredients from sticking and burning; set it in a quick Oven for about an Hour, and so have you a Composition for any Root-Pudding."Take a raw Carrot, scrape it very clean, then grate it, take half a Pound of the grated Carrot, and a Pound of grateed Bread, beat up eight Eggs, leave out half the Whites, mix the Eggs with half a Pint of Cream, then stir in the Bread and Carrot, and half a Pound of fresh Butter melted, half a Pint of Sack, and three Spoonfuls of Orange-flower Water, a Nutmeg grated, sweeten to your Palate. Mix all well together; and if it is not thin enough, stir in a little new Milk or Cream. Let it be of a moderate Thickness, lay a Puff-paste all over the Dish, and pour in the Ingredients. Bake it, it will take an Hour's baking, or you may boil it; but then you must melt Butter, and put in White Wine and Sugar."---The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 London reprint [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995(p.107)Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil very slowly for about 5 minutes. Remove from fire and allow mixture to become perfectly cold (never use while warm) and then add---Chicago Daily News Cook Book, Edith G. Shuck and Dr. Herman N. Bundesen [Chicago Daily News:Chicago IL] 1930 (p. 47)Cook the carrots, chill, and grate. Blanch the almonds and chop fine. Beat the egg yolks until light and thick. Add sugar gradually, then orange rind and juice, carrots, nuts, combining all ingredeints well, lastly fold in the stiffly beaten whites. Bake in a greased torte pan in a moderately slow oven (325 degrees F.), 45 to 50 minutes. When cool cover with sweetened Whipped Cream...Place in ice-box for several hours and serve."---The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander, Twenty-first Edition Enlarged and Revised [Settlement Cook Book Co.:Milwaukee WI] 1936 (p. 459)Mix and sift sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Steam...2 hours in small molds or 3 hours in large mold. Serve with Ohio Sauce."---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [Little, Brown and Company:Boston] 1939 (p.550)
Another reader recommends a cream cheese frosting for carrot cakes: "Use 4 ounces cream cheese and mix with 1/4 stick margarine. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and half a box of confectioners' sugar. Mix into smooth frosting. Mrs F.F.E. Edgewood Arsenal, Md."Sift together into large mixing bowl 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 2/3 cup salad oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup finely shredded carrot, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (with syrup), and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix till moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer. Bake in greased and lightly floured 9 X 9 X 2-inch pan in moderate oven (350 degress F) about 35 minutes or till done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see page 86)."In small mixing bowl , combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat at low speed on electric mixer till light. Gradually add sugar, beating till fluffy. If necessary, add milk to make of spreading consistency. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired. Frosts one 8- or 9-inch square cake."