Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Favorite Carrot Cake "Chatham Carrot Cake"

A number of you have expressed interest in my favorite carrot cake recipe and have emailed me for the recipe in response to an offer I made to a commenter on my NY Cheesecake post.  So, because I love sharing my favorite recipes, I'm going to post the recipe, but without any photos.  To provide you all with photos of this wonderful cake, I'd have to make it, and then there would only be the two of us who would eat it as our family is scattered all over New England, and I work from home so I can't take it to work to share.  Ultimately, the cake would only be eaten by me because Ole Sweetie-Pi can't eat nuts, and I wouldn't consider this cake without the nuts.  While I could, probably, over time eat the entire cake by myself and love every morsel of it, I just don't think it's a good idea.  I'm trying to learn to set limits for myself.

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!

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
4 eggs
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. 


  1. Hi Katy!!! Welcome back! Glad to see you are posting again. This cake looks wonderful!!!!

    1. Hi, Debbie--Good to see you! My life is a whirlwind. I'm taking college classes 2x a week and in the process of pursuing a dream, that is writing a fiction novel, plus with a million changes at work...WHEW!!

  2. Looks crazy good, thanks for the recipe! This reminds me of the time I used to experiment in the kitchen all the time before I got too busy managing a Chinese Restaurant in Capalaba area. You just inspired me try this one during the weekends!

  3. Welcome back! I have been following your blog several years, I love your recipes and the comments you add to them.

    1. Thank you! What a a lovely comment you have left. You have left a smile in my heart!

  4. My love for carrot cake has this a "must try". Thanks for sharing the recipe. Pinned.

    1. Lee Ann, I hope someday you do try it and enjoy it as much as my family and I do. This is one of my treasured recipes that I want to share with my family and friends. It's just too good to keep to myself.

  5. Imagine my happy surprise..coming here to see a new post:) Katy, this cake sounds amazing. I must try it, I love carrot cake! Or you could just share yours:)

  6. I thought I had left a comment..maybe it didn't go through. Welcome back this cake!

  7. Hi, Betty! You did leave comments; I'm a sluggard about responding. So nice to see you! I would love to share this cake with you!!

  8. Hi Katy! I have missed you and your posts. I am so happy to see you back in the blogosphere kitchen. Hope you enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving!

  9. Thank you, Shari! My life is just so crazed right now with schooling and work and family that barely have enough time to sleep some days, it seems :)

  10. I was really happy to read a new post in your blog, welcome back dear Katy, wish you happy holidays! Bises xx


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