Moist Carrot Cake
Moist Carrot Cake


Make one 13 x 9 x 2-inch cake

Carrot cake conjures up images of a small restaurant with mismatched chairs, rickety tables, and thick white coffee mugs. (Sounds like my kitchen table, now that I think about it. One of my sisters describes this as the “beat all to hell” -style of decorating. I digress.)

This cake is so homey. moist, and earthy. I just love it, so let’s have a group hug. My recipe uses golden raisins and applesauce. If desired you can substitute 1 cup of coconut for the raisins, and 1 cup drained, crushed pineapple for the applesauce.

2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour, or grease and flour the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, nuts, raisins, and applesauce. Fold in the flour mixture until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and using the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula spread evenly. Bake for about 50 minutes until the center of the cake springs back slightly when pressed in the center with two fingertips. Cool completely in the pan. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. ( OK, one more group hug.)…

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Makes One 10-inch Bundt cake
I believe a good coffee cake is one of the best baked goods to have in your bag of tricks. I sometimes bake, and take, this moist, streusel-packed coffee cake to a friend who is in need of nourishment after a death in the family, the birth of a baby, or as a homemade gift. I hosted a New Year’s Day brunch for my family this year and the entire coffee cake was devoured – bit by bit.
My first experience with Sour Cream Coffee Cake was back in 1989 at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My sister Barbara lived in Ann Arbor for a short time while she was getting her Ph. D. in English at Michigan (The University of Michigan, that is). The best male cook I know and I enjoyed driving down to Ann Arbor from Midland, where we lived at the time, to sleep on her floor, wake up and go to Zingerman’s, shop at the “original” Borders bookstore, and sip cappuccino at our favorite coffee house. What good times those were.

Brown Sugar Streusel
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/2 & 1/2, or milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with non-stick baking spray with flour, or grease and flour pan.
Make the streusel by placing the brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a bowl. Use your fingers to press the ingredients together until it forms clumps. Mix in the nuts. Set the streusel aside.
For the cake, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir well with a whisk to blend the ingredients.
With an electric mixer, cream the 3/4 cup butter and granulated sugar together for at least 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time until well blended. Stir in the sour cream and blend well. Add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing on low just until blended.
Spoon a scant 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and spread. Top with 1/2 of the streusel. Spoon on another 1/3 of the batter and spread gently if necessary. Top with remaining streusel. Spread remaining batter on top of the streusel. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes until a thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn cake out of pan and let cool completely. Mix together, in a measuring cup with a spout, …

Nina's Coca-Cola Cake

Makes One 13×9-inch cake


Cake ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup Coca-Cola

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons Coca-Cola

1 pound (1 box) confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2-inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together the flour, sugar and baking soda in a small bowl. In a large saucepan, melt and stir together, until well blended, the vegetable oil, 1 stick butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 cup Coca-Cola. Stir in the flour and sugar, mixing well. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake is set in the middle, and springs back when lightly pressed with your index finger. Cool on a rack. The cake can be frosted while still warm, if desired.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting by mixing and bringing to a slight boil, 1 stick butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 6 tablespoons Coca-Cola. Remove from heat and immediately stir in confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Stir in nuts. The frosting may look thin, but it will set up when cooled. Immediately pour frosting on cake, and quickly spread the frosting with a spatula or knife. Allow cake to cool for several hours before serving.


Coca-Cola Cake

Warren grew up in a very brand loyal family. The canned soda served at his boyhood home was always a Coca-Cola product. No Pepsi or RC need apply, Coke was it. So why was I surprised when I asked him if I should make a pan of brownies for a picnic, and he said, “No, how about a Coca-Cola Cake.” Coca-Cola Cake? I’ve made many sheet cakes, but not this one. Quickly, I dialed the phone, and Nina read over the phone her trusty recipe for Coca-Cola cake. The recipe went together easily, and resulted in a moist and chocolately cake with fudge-like frosting. Perfect for picnics, barbecues or a pot-luck, this cake travels well, and fills the bill for a summer-time cake, of the most brand loyal kind.…