It worked! Celebrate with Cake.

The last time we checked in, Frank was sifting dirt through a sieve, in the hopes of making the garden root-vegetable-friendly.

Guess what?  It worked.  Here are some carrots we pulled out of the garden this week:

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Pretty, right?  The carrots we pulled out last year, before the soil was sifted, were sad and stubby little things–all split and stunted and warped.  These carrots are beautiful by comparison, and they smell so good.  It seems a shame to eat them…

But everyone knows that a carrot has a higher calling: to be turned in to cake!

Here is Frank’s recipe for carrot cake, which is a favorite among our friends.  He made 12 of these cakes for our wedding, he made them for the wedding of some dear friends of ours, and I bring this cake, in some variation, to parties for people I like.  It’s moist, it chills well without getting too hard (because it uses oil instead of butter), and because of the cornstarch added to the frosting, it also stands up well under the heat.  (See the pictures of the cakes below, which were taken outside in August on a very warm day).

If you want a two-layer cake, you’ll have to double the recipe.  Otherwise, a single layer works just as well, and is just as delicious.

                                   HEATHER & FRANK’S WEDDING CAKE

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Cake

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped, drained pineapple

1 cup finely grated carrot

Cream Cheese Frosting

One 8-ounce package cream cheese

6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (or two pans, if you’re making a double-layer) and coat the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. In a bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt, making sure they are well combined. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs until blended, and then stir the egg mixture into the flour. Fold in the walnuts, pineapple, and grated carrot. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool, and turn onto a cake rack.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Mix the cornstarch into confectioner’s sugar until blended well.  Then add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat on medium speed until well combined and fluffy, about 10 minutes or until smooth. Spread the frosting on the top of the cake (and in the middle, if you’re making a two-layer cake). Enjoy!

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