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Carrot Cake with Buttermilk Icing

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Carrot Cake

My youngest had a terrible day yesterday.  Actually, her day was humming along just fine until around 3:30, when we pulled into the neighborhood after school and drove past her best friend’s house.  And she spotted the newly planted First Weber sign square in the front yard.  And it didn’t click immediately in her 10-year old brain what that sign meant, exactly.  As I watched her in the rearview mirror, my heart sank right along with her jaw.  The realization hit her.  And the panic set in.

Her bestie since she was three years old is moving to a different neighborhood.  Of course it doesn’t mean they can’t still be friends – getting together just won’t be as simple as it is now.  There won’t be anymore hopping on her bike with an American Girl doll hanging precariously off the front handlebars, and zipping down the street for playdate.  Hanging out will now involve phone calls and being organized and four-wheeled transportation.  I’ve assured her this won’t be a problem.

Looming larger than logistics in her mind is the horrible thought that her friend will find a brand new bestie in her brand new neighborhood.  ”What if she forgets me, mom?  What if she doesn’t remember we’re best friends?”  What if, what if, what if.  I’ve assured her none of these ‘what ifs’ will happen.  They will always be friends.

I tucked her in last night and her eyes were bright red, swollen, and burning from crying the evening away.  Through dinner, homework, and brushing her teeth, the tears and sobs kept coming.  Is there anything worse than seeing your kid so sad?  I could’ve wept right along with her.

The weather today matches my mood.

This surely calls for cake.

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, April 2011.  Recipe by Kathy Kitchens Downie, RD.  p. 172

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
2 c. grated carrot (organic carrots are on sale)

1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
6 T. butter, softened (Land O’ Lakes Butter is on sale)
3 large eggs (Shurfresh Eggs are on sale)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add grated carrot, tossing to combine.

Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Spread batter into a bundt pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool cake slightly in pan, then invert on a cooling rack.  Cool an additional 10 minutes.

While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.


Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

  • Anonymous

    this cake was our dessert for Easter. (although I put some cream cheese frosting on it instead of the drizzle….) the cake was quite dense and moist…didn’t miss the cup of oil most other carrot cakes require. Next time, I would add some nuts or raisins, or both!

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you liked it! :-)

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