Home cooking: Carrot cake

August 07, 2012

Allison Spaid, 13, of Smithsburg, was youth champion in the cake division of the 2012 Washington County Ag Expo and Fair.

She said this is the first year she has entered the contest, but she has experience in a kitchen.

"I've cooked since I was probably 6 or 7," Allison said. "I first cooked with my grandmother — my mom's mother. We made anything from cakes to soups and casseroles."

Her family's roots are several generations deep in the orchards and farms in the Smithsburg area.

"Grandfather worked in an orchard, so we got apples, plums, peaches," she said. "I like to cook with (fruit) and with vegetables."

Allison said she likes to bake. Mostly, when she's in the kitchen, she'll make desserts.

"My grandmother won the (Leitersburg Peach Festival) peach pie contest 10 years in a row," Allison said. "She taught me how to make pies."

—  Chris Copley, Herald-Mail Lifestyle assistant editor

Carrot cake

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 cups finely grated carrots.

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon of orange extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil and sugar. Beat eggs into sugar-oil mixture one at a time.

Mix dry and wet ingredients together.

Add carrots, raisins, dried cranberries, orange zest and orange extract. Mix well.

Grease and flour two round 9-inch pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until done.

Let cool before frosting.

— Courtesy of Alison Spaid of Smithsburg

Orange cream frosting

1 stick butter

Zest of 1/2 orange

1 pound confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 tablespoons milk, as needed

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter until soft. Add orange zest and mix thoroughly. Gradually add confectioners sugar and salt and mix thoroughly.

Mix together vanilla and milk, then beat milk gradually into frosting. Add only as much as needed to achieve spreadable consistency.

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