Things One Might Dream of Owning:
- A really, really, fast car.
- The Hope Diamond.
- The Yankees.
- A closet that would make California Closets jealous.
- Original Tiffany glass windows.
- A parking spot at Google headquarters.
- Did I mention the Yankees?
- A claw-footed bathtub.
- Lear jets. With John Travolta as the pilot.
But a mini-storage? When is the last time you woke up and said “Hot damn! I’d love to own me a mini-storage park!”
I’ve got…a friend. Who claims her husband’s dream (dream?????? seriously? DREAM????) is to own a mini-storage. Said friend has even put an offer in on a mini-storage park. And by “offer” I am referring to an OFFER TO PURCHASE a mini-storage.
And no, I didn’t take a trip to The Land of Make Believe.
This mini-storage sitch exists in real life, man.
As in, the best carrot cake EVER. Seriously. The. Best.
This time around, I tried not to be so much of a “food pornographer,” as
my future husband Anthony Bourdain would say. So I’ll just give a quick run-down of the best carrot cake ever.
This recipe is from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. Her photos are much more…controlled. I suspect she did not photo her cake at 8:30 a.m. in the office kitchen with a tiny plastic knife while convincing those around you that carrot cake is clearly a breakfast food because carrots are high in beta carotene.
The recipe makes enough batter for three layers, but as I somehow only have one cake pan…and didn’t figure that out until I had made cake batter…and was cooking at 10 p.m., I ended up with two even-ish sized layers. On the plus side, only having one pan ensured I only put one pan in the oven at a time, ensuring even oven air flow.
Another thing I really LOVED about this recipe is that it calls for crushed pineapple, not coconut. Weird, I know. A lot of carrot cake recipes call for coconut, which I am not a fan of. This one is full of delicious things like carrots and nutmeg and cinnamon and pineapple and sugary goodness.
When it’s in the oven, your house will smell heavenly.
I was a bit worried about running out of frosting, but the recipe made just enough. I use almond extract in my cream cheese frosting for a good hint of flavor and something a little different from vanilla.
Carrot Cake Recipe:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar)
- 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 pound finely grated carrots
- 1 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3-to-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg together. In an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Stir in the pineapple. Add in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in the carrots and raisins until they are evenly distributed (I did this by hand, not with the mixer).
Grease and line with parchment paper two 9-inch cake pans. Divide the batter evenly, and bake one pan at a time for 35-40 minutes at 350F. Cool the cakes 10 minutes or so in the pan, then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and extracts. Add in the sugar until the frosting has the desired consistency.
Frost the cake and enjoy!