Sunday, September 25, 2011

A perfect birthday, cake included.

Freeman Allen's Carrot Cake

The cake got stuck in the pan. I considered starting over, but instead I pried it out using numerous utensils while you
napped. It started to fall apart. No sweat. I glued it together with frosting while you slept all the while.

I sat the whole thing on our crooked cake stand and noticed the whole thing was lopsided. No matter. I was proud of myself for not swearing or even getting mad. I've learned many life lessons in the two years since you were born. One of them is that remaining calm is always key.

A second birthday celebration, complete with cousins, your new best friend, and love all around. This was a perfect birthday, and a delicious, imperfect cake. Eat up!


Freeman Allen's Carrot Cake
From the Bakery Lane Soup Bowl Cookbook
My mother made this cake often when I was growing up. It is moist, flavorful and deeply satisfying. It's also easy and fool-proof, as long as your pans are properly greased. It can be baked in a tube-pan or as a layer cake. If you choose to do the latter and want to frost the whole cake including the sides, double the frosting recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups oil (I used canola)
3 cups grated carrots
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add oil, carrots and eggs one at a time and stir well between additions. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a greased tube pan or 2 layer cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool in pan. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups confectioners sugar

Combine the cheese and butter, beating with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat to blend. Use additional sugar if needed. Add a few drops lemon juice. Spread on top of carrot cake. Store the cake in refrigerator once frosted.


  1. The imperfect cake is PERFECT! And I love the unfrosted sides. My mom always made us whole wheat carrot cake for our birthdays, unfrosted, and often with a big candle borrowed from one of the dining room candlesticks. Happy birthday!

  2. Still it is a homemade cake, made with love and as such, it is wonderful! Happy B-day Roman!

  3. I adore this little lopsided cake and love the way you handled the challenge. Bravo!

  4. Yes, I love imperfectly shaped cakes such as this one, minimally iced, and richly flavored. sweet life lesson about what really constitutes perfection.

    Nichole--one thing I have learned, cake-baking, is to always line my pans with parchment---the stick factor gets hugely reduced.

    happy birthday to your dear one!

  5. What a perfectly lovely post! Years and years ago when I was learning to quilt, a woman told me: "every handmade quilt should have imperfections just to show that it was made by hand." so your cake is all that more perfect for being imperfect! Happy Birthday to your little one. I love the balloons.

  6. Nancy, I will try the parchment paper! Having a cake stick is not a good feeling!

    Jamie, Wow, you quilt too? Amazing!

  7. Thank you for a great recipe, I introduced my Italian friends in Italy to carrot cake using this recipe and it was a huge hit, half of it was gone before I could even take a photo!

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  9. "I enjoy reading your post guys,,, just keep posting. Birthday Wishes

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  13. Thanks for sharing this helpful Blog. This is a classic boy's cake like baby boss cake. With a bow in the center and a mustache on top, this two-layer cake can feature horizontal zig-zag on the first tier and vertical stripes on the top tier.


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