Wednesday, March 25, 2009

carrot cake for first charity bake sale - recipe: carrot cake

A few years ago, I had the idea to host a charitable bake sale — with all profits going to a local charity. I loved attending bake sales as a kid (who didn’t?) and I thought a bake sale would be a fun and delicious way to generate enthusiasm for a worthy cause. Although this idea was never too far from my mind, life got busy, time flew by, and I hate to say it, the sale never happened. While I try my best to give back to the community regularly, I recently read an article in the paper that moved me into action.

The most difficult aspect of organizing this bake sale was choosing which charity to support; there are so many worthwhile causes in our region. Last May, my husband and I were blessed with the birth of our son, John, so a charity supportive of children felt right. I decided that the first bake sale (I hope we’ll have many) should benefit KidsAbility.

Last week, I spoke with Lisa Talbot, Executive Director of KidsAbility Foundation. I explained I wanted to host a bake sale and Lisa replied that their annual Radiothon was being held on April 3 and this would be the perfect day for it.

Accordingly, our bake sale to benefit KidsAbility will be held on April 3 from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. All profits from the baking will benefit children with challenges here in our community by helping them reach their potential. After 5 p. m., I’ll head to Conestoga Mall where the Radiothon takes place and I’ll let them know how much money we raised with our sale.

Please consider dropping by our shop. We’ll be selling all sorts of delicious baked goodies including cupcakes, squares, cookies, muffins, pies and of course our signature lemon currant scones.

There’s even a staff challenge — each employee will contribute an item not normally found on our menu. The challenge — to see whose baked goods sell out first. I’m making a delicious carrot cake; Rose is making flourless, organic peanut butter cookies and cheesy buddy dog biscuits. The rest of the team? They’re keeping their contributions top secret — amazing considering how much Rose and I pester them.

Here is an outstanding recipe for carrot cake. I learned to make it while working as the “cafe chef” at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto. I thought that the recipe was under wraps until I saw it published in the new Dish Entertains cookbook, written by Trish Magwood and published by Harper Collins Canada.

Delicious? Yes. Low calorie or low fat? Absolutely not!

ingredients for cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup drained, crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup raisins

method for baking

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the vegetable oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Gently fold the flour mixture into the oil/sugar mixture.
  • Fold in the grated carrots, pineapple and raisins.
  • Pour into a greased or parchment-lined 10 inch by 13 inch cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Once cake is cool, top with icing (recipe below).

ingredients for cream cheese icing
(the best part about carrot cake, if you ask me)

  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

method for cream cheese icing

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar, one-half cup at a time and beat until icing is smooth and fluffy.

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