A Classic Beginning

This past day off, I had planned to try out Ina Garten’s German Chocolate Cupcake recipe, but for some reason, I chickened out and searched for something less intensive. So after some searching, I decided that I was really craving some carrot cake, and oh, look, Ina Garten has a carrot-pineapple cake recipe. Perrrfect. I went to the store the day before my day off, bought the ingredients, and spent all night thinking about how much fun baking that cake was going to be. It actually made my night of serving table after table much less painful. 20140910_130503Those of you who have made carrot cake before are most likely pointing and laughing at me. For those of you who have not made carrot cake before, they’re laughing because it’s probably more prep intensive than the cupcakes would have been. I, having never made carrot cake before, did not even entertain that as a possibility. I had to grate a pound of carrots (I had to have my arm surgically repaired…kidding), chop walnuts, and dice pineapple. Lots of work folks. Oh, and let me confess to you that I don’t have a kitchen aid to help me mix things. (Cue sad music.) When I happen to have an extra $500, you know what I’ll be spending it on. Yes, yes, this recipe has quite a bit of prep, but it’s SO worth it. I have never been an avid fan of cake, but I could eat this erry day. Erry day. 20140910_130435 Before the prepping, I took care of greasing the pans. Now, this recipe called for the cake pans to be buttered, parchment papered, then buttered again and floured. I had never seen anything like this before, but what the heck. Believe me, it works beautifully!

After I prepped everything, I began the batter. Something that I realized was important was sifting the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Because they were sifted in, there were next to no clumps in the batter. At this point though, I was a little curious about this recipe because the batter looked more like dough. I thought that maybe I had forgotten to add some kind of liquid. But nope. I had put the oil in there. I went on trusting that something would fix this issue. This was the obvious appearance of the novice carrot cake baker. I began to fold in my large bowl of grated carrots and saw that the issue was resolved almost immediately. The moisture of the carrots added the missing liquid and made the batter look less like sugar cookie dough and more like carrot cake batter. I folded in the rest of the carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and raisins, ending up with what looked like a bowl full of vomit. It was lovely. 20140910_132615 When it looks like this, it’s ready to go into the inferno. Pour that batter into the pans and turn on some Giada at Home for an hour. Or you can work on the massive load of dishes that have piled up in the sink—and I mean massive. On the plus side, the house should smell amazing. Especially, if you add a little extra cinnamon and other uncalled for spices like I felt compelled to do. Cloves, Nutmeg, mmm. Smells like Christmas.

The cakes don’t look that pretty when they’re done, but they will. I let mine cool for a few hours before I began making the cream cheese frosting. This frosting is addictive. My dad couldn’t keep his fingers out of the bowl. Another confession: I struggle when it comes to frosting cakes. Because of bad experiences and end results in the past, I’m ALWAYS apprehensive about frosting one, especially this time because Ree Drummond was on T.V. making frosting her cake look so darn effortless. I’m here with frosting all over everything except the bald spots on the cake. If anyone has any tips, please share!

20140910_17075020140910_174709Anyway, the end result of frosting this time wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. And it tasted delicious! Give Ina five stars because this recipe is my go-to for carrot cake now and forever. The carrot and pineapple pair well and lend the perfect amount of moisture to the cake. The walnuts and raisins give it even more texture. The smooth, clean white frosting provides contrast and heavenly sweetness. It’s a sweet, crumbly yet moist slice of deliciousness. Tip: this cake is even better after sitting in the fridge for a few hours or over night. The frosting really sets and sticks to the cake. Go try it! You and your family/friends will not be disappointed.

Until next time, Eat and Run!

Find the fabulous Ina Garten Carrot and Pineapple Cake recipe here! Courtesy of Ina Garten and food network.com.

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