Anyway, I discovered this gem of a recipe in a little community type cookbook while I lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a booklet called Cape Cod Recipes (Chatham is part of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for those of you who may not be familiar with our New England geography, a well-to-do community of fine dining and sandy beaches). Anyway, I've made this recipe for years, and it is consistently well received with many compliments. I've been told it's better than carrot cakes from our local bakeries, and I've even wowed potential suitors for Old Sweetie-Pi's daughters. That's high praise indeed, in my opinion.
Just let me pass along one caveat. As I said, I've made this cake numerous times and for me it's the only carrot cake recipe I'll use. I've tried others "just to see" and in the end declare this one to be my favorite. The caveat: for whatever reason the cake fell during baking. It's only happened a couple of times; don't ask me why because I don't know. Too much liquid from the carrots, too much stirring, not enough stirring. I'm baffled. But when I see that disappointing result, I go right back and remake the cake, same day, same everything, and the cake works. Go figure.
Anyway, enough about me. Here's the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family, friends, and I do. It's nicely spiced and so moist!
CHATHAM CARROT CAKE
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup brown)
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup vegetable oil
1 eight-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
Combine first 7 ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs 1 minute. Add sugar and continue beating until eggs are lemon-colored. Add oil, dry ingredients, carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Divide batter evenly between the pans and bake about 30 minutes or until tested done with a toothpick. Let sit in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a baking rack.
Once cooled, torte the cake, that is, divide each of the cake layers in half across the middle, for a total of four layers. I found this to be a very important step to fully realize the flavor of this wonderful cake. There's something magical about all that gorgeous cream cheese frosting between the layers.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING : Combine until smooth, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups confectioners' sugar. (If I recall correctly, I double the amount of frosting, but use your best judgment). I use a generous amount of frosting between the layers as well as frosting for the top. I leave the sides without frosting because it's pretty to see the layers of cake and frosting and it is possible to have too much of a good thing, smiles.
If you want, add some finely chopped walnuts to the top layer for decoration.
The original recipe called for making this cake in a 13x9 inch pan and baking for 60 minutes. I've done that, and to tell you the truth, and the cake just isn't anywhere near as good.