Here is an Easter bonus for this year: A Bunny-Shaped Carrot Cake!

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Carrot Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1⅓ cup oil
  • 2 cups presifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • ¾ cup broken nuts (I used pecans)
  • (1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla - The original recipe doesn't call for these, but they can be added if it is your preference)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pans, (This will make two round layers OR one 13 x 9 pan OR one lamb/bunny mold and a dozen cupcakes)
  2. Beat sugar and eggs until thickened and pale. Stir in oil.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients and spices. Stir into egg mixture, then fold in nuts and carrots.
  4. Pour batter into pan, bake for 30 minutes for layers, 25 minutes for cupcakes, 40 minutes for a 13x9 pan and 45-50 minutes for a lamb/rabbit mold.
  5. Cool on cake rack and frost with cream cheese frosting.
  6. Cream Cheese Frosting:
  7. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add more sugar depending on your desired frosting thickness. Add vanilla and beat well until velvety.

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This is another recipe I dug from my extensive recipe card collection. This one is from the same collection as the Man Lamb, but this recipe is pretty much the classic Wesson oil carrot cake with a few tweaks. The first thing that caught my eye was the huge amount of shredded carrots, and the lack of any other additions which were popular at the time (raisins, coconut, crushed pineapple). I’ve always wanted to leave everything else out of my carrot cake and try just carrots (and nuts), so this was a good chance to try that out.

Now, if you’re anything like me, the second thing you’d notice about this cake is the lack of salt. No salt. No salt! I almost didn’t go through with this cake because of this, but after a lot of harassing from Tom I pressed on to finish it.

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Carefully placing a brace.

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Feeding the rabbit yet another carrot.

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And – Success! Sort of!

You can’t really tell by this picture, but it didn’t rise very much at all. There wasn’t even close to enough to make it into the other half of the mold. I had forgotten that carrot cakes usually don’t rise a ton. I remembered at this point (of course) that I used to make a carrot cake lamb by baking the two halves separately and “gluing” them together with cream cheese frosting. That wasn’t ideal, but it did work.

But I had already committed to baking it all at once, so I just went with it. The cake was very moist and soft, and there was no way it was going to stand up on it’s own in one piece. After I depanned it, I even had trouble getting it to another tray in one piece, the ears just wanted to flop right off the head.

But, probably due to all the oil, it was a cinch to actually get it out of the mold!

And now for the taste test. Do extra carrots really make a difference?

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“Is it good?”

“Get away from me, this is my cake.”

“I’ll take that as a “yes”, but you still have to share with your daughter.”

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“Do you like it Alex?”

“It’s good! It tastes like carrots!”

The Verdict: Very Good, But Doesn’t Stand Up

From The Tasting Notes –

Overall, this was a really good carrot cake. The cake was carrot-packed and very moist. It had a good flavor on its own. You could totally taste the lack of salt, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I thought it needed salt, but Tom liked the taste without salt. He said it tasted sweeter and more of carrots. So I guess salt is up to your personal preference! Once the delicious cream cheese frosting went on though, it pretty much just tasted like sweet cream cheese and that was it. Once again, not a bad thing. This recipe was pretty much just all carrots, so feel free to sub cups of raisins, crushed pineapple, coconut, etc. for cups of shredded carrots to your preference. As far as the lamb/rabbit cake aspect of it, this was delicious but did not make a good molded cake. It was very moist and soft, and though it de-panned very well there was no way it could stand up under it’s own weight. If you have a few days to get your cake together, you could refrigerate or freeze the cake and then try to stand it up and frost it. Once the frosting is refrigerated it *might* stand on its own. But if you don’t want to take a risk and if you don’t mind a laying down cake, then I recommend this because it was delicious.

Have a Happy Easter, and don’t forget to send me pictures of your lamb/bunny/chicken/cross molded cakes!

Send me your 2017 Lamb Cake photos so I can post them here on the blog for everyone to see AND to be entered in a random drawing for some vintage cookbooks from my collection! You can email me your photo at ruth@midcenturymenu.com, or you can send it to me through our Facebook page. Deadline for submission is April 23, 2017, and you can send in as many lamb/rabbit/chicken/random Easter cake photos from this year as you want (if you make multiple cakes) but everyone will be entered into the drawing one time, to make it fair.

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