(adapted from The Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown)
Preheat oven to 350* and grease and flour two 8" cake pans.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (light is better than dark)
1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil
1 cup melted butter
Mix all of these ingredients together.
2 cups unbleached white flour, or wheat flour, or a combination
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
Mix all of these ingredients together in a different bowl.
4 cups shredded carrots (don't use preshredded carrots. You want them moist.)
2 cups chopped walnuts (if you're chopping them yourself, try for a nice variation in texture, from almost-powder to big chunks)
A cup of raisins or pineapple if your tastes run that way, which mine don't, which means that you're a commie pinko who can't appreciate good carrot cake.
Mix the flour and spice mixture into the egg/sugar/oil mixture. Fold in the carrots and nuts. Pour the resulting batter into your greased, floured pans, trying hard to make sure the same amount gets into each pan.
Bake for at least 35 minutes. The cakes are done when a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for ten minutes on top of the stove, or on racks, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack.
Allow to cool completely, and frost with
Totally Yowza Italian Cream-Cheese Frosting, courtesy of my pal from Italy
Allow to stand at room temperature until just barely soft
2 sticks of butter
Cream in a mixer with
2 cartons of cream cheese (full-fat, please; none of this fat-free crap)
Add two teaspoons, or more, of vanilla. I prefer more. Usually I just stand there and stare into space while pouring in the vanilla, but then, I'm a balls-out kind of girl.
Pour in powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired sweetness and spreading consistency. This will probably amount to most of a bag of sugar, but then, my coworkers like a lot of frosting with their carrot cake.
Frost the cake, using tons between the layers. The cake is naturally pretty crumbly and only borderline sweet, so don't be afraid to go heavy on the frosting. It also weighs a ton once it's finished. Be sure you have a good cake carrier to tote it around in.
Apply, as Nigella Lawson says, to face. Fall over in a food coma. Pretend you just got a serving of vegetables.