Grandpa Joe’s Carrot Cake (with a twist or two)

Here is my recipe for the best carrot cake ever!  The recipe was handed down to me by my father, Gary who got it from his father, Joe.  As far as I know, Joe made up the recipe.  I remember having this cake for my dad’s birthdays when I was growing up.  It seems like the perfect thing to go with Easter dinner too.I never met my Grandpa Joe but I know that he had a hot temper, a dry sense of humor and he loved to bake sweets.  My son, doesn’t care for the pineapple chunks in Grandpa Joe’s recipe and I don’t care for the chopped walnuts so I’ve tweaked the recipe from the original for my own family’s “delicate pallet”.  I’ve also added some orange zest because I imagine that Grandpa Joe would have put it in there, he just hadn’t thought of it yet…

Joe’s Carrot Cake (Jen’s version):
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. raw carrot grated very fine
1 small can crushed pineapple (drained and pureed in blender)
1 TBS. orange zest

Sift all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) into a large mixing bowl.  Mix the oil, sugar and eggs in separate bowl and beat well with electric mixer. Combine the 2 mixtures and mix well.  Add the carrots, pineapple and orange zest and mix to combine.  Pour into a greased and floured cake pan.  We always use a bundt pan to make this cake.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 min.

In loving memory of my grandparents:
Joseph A. (Sahli) Sahly
& Mable “Helen” (Constable) Sahly

And now for twist #2!  My son requested a “plum cake” for his 7th birthday.  I searched online and found no recipes for a plum cake.  I found lots of recipes for plum pies and plum tarts but no cakes.  My grandpa Joe was a chef and he was known for experimenting in the kitchen and creating new recipes.  So, I thought it was only fitting to tweak his recipe for carrot cake again, this time to create Plum Cake!

Plum Cake
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. raw plums

Core and peel the plums, then chop them up finely in a food processor, you want finely chopped but not pureed into baby food.  Put the chopped plums into a sieve over the sink and let them drain while you mix up the cake batter.
Sift all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) into a large mixing bowl.  Mix the oil, sugar and eggs in separate bowl and beat well with electric mixer. Combine the 2 mixtures and mix well.  Add the chopped and drained plums and mix to combine.  Pour into a greased and floured cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 min.

Per my son’s request I paired this cake with Strawberry frosting.  I used the recipe from allrecipes.com  I used half butter and half cream cheese and I simmered the strawberry reduction for 40 min.  This frosting is amazingly delicious and it is also a bit runny, I don’t think that it would pipe very well.  I baked the cake in a bundt pan and poured the frosting over the top.  The effect was something similar to a volcano with hot lava.

 

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