The last time I made carrot cake I was in second year university living in my first apartment. This was in the days before I looked up recommendations for recipes online so I used one I found in a cookbook. It was also my pre-food processor days so I had to hand grate the 4 cups of carrots on my crappy grater, which was slow and hard on my knuckles. The dry, leaden curling stone that I produced was disappointing to say the least. I vowed to never make carrot cake again. I used to make all kinds of vows back then, like deciding to boycott McDonald’s. That lasted ten years until I was pregnant and thought I was craving a McDonald’s milkshake. Turns out they are not as good as I remembered so my boycott has been back on since then.
More than a decade later, I decided to revisit carrot cake as I looked through the Silver Palate for ideas for a birthday cake for my sister-in-law. The blurb said that this cake sold out everyday at the Silver Palate Store and I was pleased to see no grating of carrots was needed. This recipe uses cooked pureed carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut and walnuts. Plus of course the cream cheese icing is incredible. I always use this cream cheese icing for all my birthday cakes and just add cocoa if I want chocolate icing. So I broke my carrot cake vow and was extremely pleased with the moist, nutty, not overly carrot-flavoured cake that resulted. The cake was unlike any other carrot cake I have tasted and it reminded me how good carrot cake can be when done properly.
So why pink icing? My two and a half year old niece requested pink icing and who am I to refuse a toddler’s wish? Plus I’ll admit that I did not want to face a toddler’s wrath if I appeared with a more traditionally coloured carrot cake. Recipe here.