February 15, 2013 | Desserts
Let me introduce you to my great niece Bella. She loves Lucy’s cage almost as much as Lucy does.Then Lucy will tire of the company and bound out of the cage, leaving poor Bella bewildered. (Note: this may be one of the weirdest optical illusion photos I’ve ever taken. Lucy jumped into the camera just as I shot the picture, so even though they are really about the same size, Lucy looks as large as a polar bear next to little Bella!)But Lucy often comes back for a quick kiss.When the play time is over, I’m not sure who is more worn out!Since my nephew and his family are in town and Bella just celebrated her first birthday, and my mom’s 80th is coming up soon, we decided to have an impromptu little celebration last night. I always tell you I’m not much of a baker, so I started this cake recipe with a boxed cake mix. In hindsight that didn’t save a heck of a lot of time, but it did work. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the mixture……and then stirred in what turned out to be WAY too much shredded carrots. I fixed that for you in the recipe below. I also added some raisins and omitted nuts just because I don’t love them in my carrot cake. They’re optional in the recipe.I baked the cake into traditional round layers and filled the cake with a lemony cream cheese frosting……before thickly covering the whole thing with the frosting.Now that’s a cake both a baby and a great grandmother can enjoy!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- oil, eggs, water as called for by cake mix directions
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- juice of one lemon
- water, as needed to thin the frosting
- Stir spices into the cake mix, then prepare mix according to package directions, adding water, oil and eggs as specified. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts and pour into 2 greased 8-9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-35 minutes depending on your pan size.
- Remove cakes from pans carefully and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. While cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Whip the softened cream cheese in a mixer on high until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, mixing on low to begin incorporating. Continue to mix while adding the lemon juice and enough water to thin the frosting to a spreadable consistency. Whip on high for the last 30 seconds. Lay one layer on a plate top side down and frost the center. Top with the second layer and completely frost the top and sides.