Today is my mother-in-law's birthday and I made a cake. A few days ago, I volunteered and we decided that I could make the cake in a stealth operation while my in-laws were out. It was not a stealth operation at all. At various points I had to hide a cake behind my back while slinking around the house. Several people have also all but told her-- from "Why is there icing sugar on the list?" to "Oh, I'm making a carrot cake now, too!" We could have, perhaps should have, come clean about the whole thing. Then we could be sitting around waiting for cake time, instead of sitting around pretending that we are not waiting for cake time. It's even worse for me, probably, because I know exactly what we are waiting for and I'm so excited to share this particular cake with everyone.
This cake is one of the recipes that we make year after year in my family. Every September we make this carrot cake for my mother. Then pumpkin pie for my sister's birthday and strawberry tarts for mine. The carrot cake sets the bar high. To me, this carrot cake was the one, the only, choice for this birthday. After we had a looong conversation with a local friend about carrot cake today (I know!) we know that Gill loves carrot cake, but doesn't know how to make it. I plan to pass this recipe along, if it goes over well. Which I think it will. Because this cake is delicious--fluffy, spicy and moist. It's been tweaked and modified over the years, but actually less so than other recipes in our repertoire. It is originally from the 1975 Williamsburg Cookbook. This is what my mother e-mailed to me, when I said I wanted to make The Carrot Cake (Thanks mom! I hope you don't mind my copy/pasting... and see, it turned out great!):