My dad has a June birthday that I’ve been absent for over the past several years. I've sent him cards and left him happy voicemails while I’m away at internships or traveling, but this year I was *finally* with him for his 60th birthday. He requested a carrot cake, so I trusted a Pioneer Woman recipe and started grating up carrots.
I know that I co-author a food blog about great recipes, so don’t read into this, but I love when food is less about the actual recipe involved and more about serving meaningful food. I'm happiest when the details and exact steps don’t matter as much as who is eating the cake and how pleased they will be that you made their favorite kind.
When someone shows up at my door with my favorite chocolate, knows how I take my coffee, or makes enchiladas because I’m coming over THAT is when I feel most loved. Not when the perfect recipe is crafted or I’ve made something for the fifth time and finally nailed it. Those things make me smile too, but nothing compares to the joy of hospitality and creating spaces for people to feel loved and be fed.
I love knowing people well enough to pick up on their favorite things & be able to serve foods that are meaningful to them and that hopefully taste good too. That’s what this cake felt like — a delicious reason to celebrate, but even sweeter to finally be with my dad on his birthday. To feed him something I knew would make him feel loved & hopefully attempt to make up for all of the birthdays I missed!
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together the granulated sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and combine. Then add the carrots and mix well.
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan and bake until done, about 50 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, for the icing:
- In a larger bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and blend. Then mix in the pecans.
- Spread the icing on the cooled carrot cake.