Many of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that I like to share my families culture, history and traditions. So to honor the State of Virginia where this cake was first made and to honor my mother in law I want to share her cake receipt with you. In doing this I am hoping to keep one more of our families traditions alive.
Around 50 years ago my husband’s family lived just outside of Winchester Virginia. Where they lived with up to 7 children off and on, some are from a first marriage, ( they added one later to make a nice round 8). Moving often due to the nature of Grandpa Powers work as a bulldozer operator. He spent years building the many interstate and highway systems of the two states. I- 79 running north and south in West Virginia is one of the last he worked on. Grandpa would often fallow the construction for many miles often leaving for months at a time.This meant leaving Grandma with a house full of kids to raise on her own. So as a frugal home maker she often made home-made desserts for her children and neighbors kids. One of the mothers that she met while living in Winchester, shared this wonderful cake with her and told her that it came from a very expensive hotel in the area in the late 1950’s. It has been in the family ever since and is my personal favorite cake of all times. So someone in the 1950 got it right and we have not changed much about the cake in the last 65 years.
So as my birthday is only a few days a way, I though it fitting to make myself this cake. It is a frosting free cake. I am not an icing person and neither is my husband so this cake gets served at our house with just a cold glass of milk. I hope that all of you will try it and love it. It is just one of the many traditions that I am so happy to have gained from one of my favorite people.
Southern Style Carrot Cake
3 cups sifted flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil… ( yes we know that it seems like a lot but it is just perfect)
3 beaten eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple ( Use a good brand, generic seems tough in the cake we use Dole)
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Just use a kitchen spoon for this cake no need to get the mixer out. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 1/2 to 1 hour and 40 minutes, test with tooth pick to make sure the cake is dry inside.
I start shredding 2 cups carrots this usually means about two large and one small carrot. If you have slightly more than two cups just add it in.
Mix dry ingredients together, flour sugar, soda, salt and spices.
Stir and then add in wet ingredients, oil, can of pineapple, vanilla and slowly at the end add beaten eggs.
When eggs are incorporated in the batter add shredded carrots and pecans. Pour batter into a large pan like a 13 x 11 deep ( not a Pyrex 11 x 13 glass pan) cake pan or angel food cake pan. The cake can be cut into about 12 to 15 pieces.
I use this pan so the cake can be placed on my cake stand and it cools faster with out the outside ring.
This cake is dense and rich but not overly sweet.The cake stores well at room temperature and with out cream cheese icing it does not need refrigeration. It does take about 4 hours for the cake to totally cool and get firm to eat with you fingers. Yummy as a late night snack.
Thanks for the Birthday cake recipe Grandma it is delicious as always.