Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My used cookbook collection is growing rapidly and I owe it all to the donations of gardening and cookbooks at my local Farmer's Market. How can I resist perusing the stacks of books, knowing full well that I will not leave that table without one or two cookbooks!
So was the case last Saturday when I found two books. This recipe comes from one of them, "Winerthur's Culinary Collection" published originally in 1983 by The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Inc.
The forward states, "The Winterthur Museum in Delaware is known worldwide as the extrordinary legacy of Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969). Winterthur is both an art museum and a history museum with a matchless collection of antiques and decorative arts objects made or used in America between 1640 - 1840."
The treasured recipes in this cookbook are gathered from many people associated with Winterthur, including the du Pont family.
This carrot cake recipe is from Yuletide at Winterthur and is served at the Winterthur Pavillion.
It's a wonderfully moist cake, easy to make with raisins and nuts and cinnamon as the spice. If you don't like nuts you can leave them out. I used walnuts and although my son, Kris, says he doesn't like them in cakes like this, he did love this one, and I'm glad I included both the raisins and nuts.
As usual, I halved the recipe ( easy to do) and made a one layer cake. (I used an 8" square pan.)It could easily be made into a great two layer cake with the cream cheese frosting. Not being a fan of too much frosting, I cut way back on the frosting amount and just placed it on the top. Then I applied what Alton Brown refers to as the "stucco" look!
Begin by beating the eggs and sugar til light and fluffy.

Then add the oil and vanilla and beat well.

Sift ( or whisk) the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Beat well.

Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and/or nuts.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ( from "Winterthur's Culinary Collection" Cookbook)

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil ( I used canola oil)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups peeled and grated uncooked carrots
1 cup raisins or chopped nuts ( or 1/2 cup of each).( I used walnuts)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 300. ( I baked mine at 325 as this temp. seemed a little low).
Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan *( If you're going to make a two layer cake, I would recommend also lining the bottom with parchment paper as mine stuck a little in the middle)*.
1. Beat eggs and sugar in your mixing bowl til light and fluffy.
2. Add oil and vanilla and beat well.
3. Sift ( or whisk) flour and baking soda, salt and cinnamon and add to creamed mixture. Beat well.
4. Stir in carrots, raisins and/or nuts.
5. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or til tester comes out clean.
6. Cool cake completely, then spread with frosting.
7. Frosting: Cream butter and cream cheese, then add the sugar and vanilla and beat til smooth.


  1. I would love to see your cookbook clllection!I bet it is fabulous!I also collect cookbooks,probably like you ,before it was the thing to do.So anyway... I love Carrot cake and this sounds like a winner,I'm gonna try it this weekend.Thanks for sharing! Tina from Pa.

  2. Hope you let me know how yours turns out!


  3. I have eaten this at Winterthur and also baked it from that recipe book you mentioned. Today I cannot find my Winterthur Cookbook! I am so glad you posted this. Going to serve this to about 15 folks this afternoon. Thanks very much!

    Susan Baldwin



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