Sunday, October 10, 2010

Have Your Cake

I like my ruts. It's comforting to know my surroundings so well I almost don't have to think, so familiar that I could find my way blindfolded on the well-worn path, my fingers skimming the walls on either side.

It's like that when friends are coming over for dinner, requiring some sort of dessert to be served. The rest of the menu can go in any number of directions, but the wrap-up to the meal is pretty much predictable. That's not to say that it lacks excitement or its own kind of wonderfulness, since a good…you guessed it…fruit crisp or cobbler can reflect the season perfectly. Rhubarb in spring, berries in early summer, peaches later on. Then apples in the fall and winter alternating with the huckleberries and other fruit I (hopefully) managed to squirrel away in the freezer.

But sometimes the sheer familiarity of it makes me restless, like being cooped up in the house for too long. That's when I pull out some books, or leaf through old recipes looking for something, anything, that will be different. And, with a little luck, provide a tasty coda to the evening.

This cake recipe, written on an old index card in what looks like my handwriting from high school (no, no hearts dotting the i's), was one I copied from my mother's collection and that she made when I was growing up. She'd bake it in an aluminum sheet pan (with a cool sliding top should you want to take it on a picnic), then make a frosting by creaming together powdered sugar and butter with pineapple bits and coconut folded in. But I decided to bake it in a bundt pan with no frosting, the better to have it for breakfast the next morning.

Pineapple Carrot Cake

1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. carrots, grated
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. grated coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.

In large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar and eggs and mix well. Add flour, cinnamon, soda, nutmeg and salt and stir well. Add carrots, nuts, pineapple and coconut. Pour into greased and floured 9" by 12" cake pan or bundt pan. For sheet cake bake 45 min., for bundt cake bake 80 min. or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.


Becky said...

Nice handwriting! Carrot cake is one of my favorites (and my 10 yr old's too!). Red velvet and Doberge Cakes are my other favorites. But I'll take a good pie over any cake any day!!! Thanks for sharing...

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Becky…and I'm in agreement when it comes to pie!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Ooh you read my mind - I have been aching for a carrot cake with the cooler weather for some reason. Perfect timing - I have no reason not make one now. Thanks for the timely post.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks! Glad the timing worked out…