A couple of weeks ago, the darling ladies from Six Sisters’ Stuff linked their Carrot Cake recipe up to the Mouthwatering Monday Linky and ever since then, I’ve been absolutely craving Carrot Cake.
The kind of craving that gets down into your belly, burrows into your subconscious and pops up at the most random of times.
I do not have a must have carrot cake recipe in my repertoire, so I was all set to make theirs, and then I got a little goodie in the mail.
That is my friend Lori’s, aka The Recipe Girl, new cookbook. I have
stalked admired Lori’s blog for years, and I got to meet her this past year when I went to Oregon for the Harry and David trip. Lori and I sat together a couple of nights at dinner and I am thrilled to say she is just as delightful, warm, funny, smart and welcoming as she is on her blog. Lori is completely down to earth, and I absolutely adore her.
I was overjoyed when Lori announced her cookbook, I was giddy when she told me she was sending me an advanced copy, and I was beside myself when it came. Not only are the recipes unbelievable, the photographer for her cookbook is Matt Armendariz and he is my absolute favorite food photographer, plus he’s cute as a button and sweeter than pecan pie.
BACK TO CARROT CAKE
I was flipping through Lori’s Cookbook, drooling and bookmarking recipes to try, when I came upon a recipe for … wait for it
banana-carrot cake cupcakes with cinnamon-cream cheese frosting
Do you need a moment?
Go ahead, stare at the picture for a minute – it’s stunning.
I literally grabbed my keys from their hook, jumped in my van, ran in the store, snagged the ripest bananas I could find, paid for them and set to making these.
Let me add a little PSA here people: Read recipes all the way through before starting on them. I’m totally blaming it on the drool-worthy photos (I’m looking at you, Matt)
If you don’t read the recipe all the way through, you might find yourself sans a key ingredient, such as buttermilk. (sigh)
Luckily, I know how to *fake* buttermilk, so a crisis was averted
I love that Lori added a footnote to this recipe for making it into a cake instead of cupcakes, because I wasn’t in a cupcake mood, and I haven’t unpacked my piping bag and tips and I adamantly will NOT use the plastic baggie piping shortcut because we should just say no to icing that looks like swirls of… well, y’all know. /tangent
This recipe is really, really easy to make – it smells amazing even when just in the preparation stage – sifting together the cinnamon and dry ingredients made my kitchen smell sooo yummy!
There are so many wonderful things about this recipe: bananas, carrots, cinnamon, sugars, buttermilk …
This is hands down the most delicious carrot cake that I’ve ever had.
I have to share a little funny thing that happened while I was in the photographing stage of this recipe: I was losing light in the kitchen while trying to photograph this, and I wanted to have it to share with y’all today – so I opened the blinds on the big window by the staircase and set up everything on the landing on the stairs.
Princess and 3 girls from the neighborhood came running in the house, turned the corner to come up the stairs and stopped dead in their tracks. I swear y’all – you could hear the squeaking of their shoes as they stopped.
Friend 1: “OOOOOO that is sooo pretty”
Friend 2: “Ummmm…. Mrs. Rachel, what are you doing?”
Friend 3: ………………..
Princess: “Oh, that’s what my mom does. She cooks, takes pictures of it, and tells people on the internet all about it”
The girls were silent for a moment as they pondered this, then they shrugged and ran back outside. I love kids.
Nathan agreed that this was out of this world delicious.
Monkey gave it two thumbs up, and licked the frosting bowl – CLEAN.
Princess – picky, picky princess even loved it.
Lori, this cake is simply wonderful. It’s moist, tender, delicious and the subtle notes of cinnamon throughout the cake and the frosting… oh. my. stars, friend. You knocked this one out of the park!
I could wax poetic about this cake, the frosting, the combination of them and about Lori, but I’ll stop because by now you’re probably drooling and dying for the recipe.
Being the wonderfully generous, sharing, and lovely person that she is…. Lori has given me permission to share the recipe with y’all! Her cookbook doesn’t officially release until April 15th, ONE WEEK!!!!! but y’all are getting a sneak peek today with this recipe.
THANK YOU, LORI!!!
- Recipe Shared with Permission from Lori, Recipe Girl
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups finely grated carrots (about ¾ pound)
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large or 3 medium bananas)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup pecans, chopped, optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F - spray 9X13 pan with nonstick spray**
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugar and eggs. Mix until it looks like the mixture has about tripled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Mix in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the carrots and banana.
- Add the butter and stir until it is mixed into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.*
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes*
- In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugars, vanilla and cinnamon. Spread a thick layer of frosting onto the cooled cake*. Sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.
This is the best carrot cake that I've ever had.
You can pre-order her book today, and you really should. I already know that this is going to become one of the most dog-eared, and well loved cookbooks in my collection. Follow this link >>>>>>>> The Recipe Girl Cookbook <<<<<<<< to pre-order (or order, if you’re seeing this on the 15th!) GO NOW!
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