Carrot Cake (The Best Ever)

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

1 pound carrots

2 cups white sugar

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 3 – 10 inch cake pans with Crisco Shortening. Flour pans and tap out excess flour.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, soda and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, walnuts and raisins. Set aside.  If you don’t have raisins, you can use chopped dates.

Grate carrots (to make 3 cups). Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, pineapple with juice, oil and applesauce. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and carrots.

Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add coconut, walnuts and raisins and combine.

Put batter into 10 inch greased and floured cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Invert onto serving plate.  After the cakes are cool, frost, and refrigerate one hour.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioner sugar, orange zest and juice. Beat until smooth.

 

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Cast Iron Cornbread

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Ingredients

¼ cup butter

1 cup white or yellow cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the butter into a 10-inch heavy bottom ovenproof frying pan or cast iron skillet and heat in the oven until butter is melted.

Note-Heating the butter in the skillet until it’s hot and melted before adding the batter guarantees a desirable crispness on the outer edges of the bread.

While the pan is heating and the butter is melting, prepare your cornbread batter.

In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk and egg until well blended. Use a wire whisk to blend. Add the oil and whisk until blended in.

Pour batter into the HOT and buttery skillet (batter will sizzle), return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until bread is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for approximately 5 minutes.

Invert cornbread onto a large plate and cut into wedges or squares.