I adore carrot cake, but I’m often the only one who wants a slice, so making carrot cake into a bar sounds like a great idea. As I was going through mom’s recipe box the other day, I came upon a forgotten classic from Aunty Kay. I used to make these all the time. Why on earth did I quit? The cream cheese frosting is perfect. It’s so easy to make a pan, share some and freeze some. These do freeze beautifully. I’m polishing off this recipe now and putting it back in rotation. Carrot cake problem solved.
One of the things I want to share with you is shortcuts. Originally this recipe called for grated carrots. Now who wants to grate carrots? I had the idea to use carrot baby food. Why not? What you see on the label is what you get in baby food. I’ve taken this a step further and I use apricot baby food for apricot puree. You get the picture. Shortcuts.
But, back to the recipe. Aunty Kay was a fabulous baker. Her dinner rolls were the best, her pies were on par with moms and that’s really saying something. I’ve mentioned in the past how the sisters were in a constant state of competition when it came to baking. These carrot bars won the carrot round.
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ cups oil, any neutral oil
3 small jars carrot baby food or a cup and a 1/2 of grated carrots
½ cup chopped nuts, optional but fabulous
Combine eggs and oil. Add carrots. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients. Fold in nuts, if using. Bake in a greased jelly roll pan for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
6 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Lemon juice to consistency
Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Slowly add lemon juice until desired consistency. Frost carrot bars when cool.
* From the Recipe Box:
Aunty Kay’s recipe, freezes well. I use carrot baby food instead of grating carrots because I’m lazy.
I added some golden raisins. I also used pineapple juice instead of lemon juice because I had some open. Per G, these were the best bars, cookies, carrot cake pieces ever. Whatever! We loved them and we both agree it’s the frosting. This makes a lot of frosting, but just the right amount in our opinion.
Thanks Aunty Kay.
and remember: Trust me, when I woke up today I had no plans to be brilliant, but shit happens. Big kiss, Lynn