A moist, nutty cake made with carrots

Carrots are truly a versatile vegetable. They are a year-round favorite, turning up in everything from soup to souffles, when not being crunched on raw along with a creamy dip. Carrots are a member of the parsley family, which includes celery, parsley, parsnip, dill, anise, fennel, and many others.

Carrots are excellent for use in baking, lending a warm color and crunchy texture to the cake or bread. Carrot cake was quite a rage a few years ago. Now that this has died down, here is a recipe for a wonderful, moist cake that can be made without any fanfare. Carrot Cake 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon mace 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups oil 4 eggs 3 cups finely shredded carrots 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 3/4 cup chopped nuts 1/2 cup raisins

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside. Beat together sugar and oil. Gradually beat in eggs and then flour mixture. Stir in carrots, lemon peel, nuts, and raisins.

Oil a 10-inch tube pan or three 8-inch round cake pans. Pour in batter and tap on counter to release any air bubbles. Bake in 350 degrees F. oven for 50 to 60 minutes for tube pan, 25 to 30 minutes for cake pans. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert and remove from pan. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting. Cream Cheese Frosting 8 ounces cream cheese 6 tablespoons sweet butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 to 21/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine all ingredients together and beat until smooth. Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups.

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