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Easy Carrot Cake

woodstack

Beautiful day today!! Been outside all day smoking some meat on the cooker (brisket & pork loin) and listening to  (sometimes dodging)  the bees as they dart around the blueberry bushes just the other side of the fence.  Was wondering if the smoke would drive them off, but I suppose not.  Guess we’ll have lots of delicious berries this year.  Love those big, juicy berries for blueberry muffins and one of our favorites . . .  Banana-Blueberry Ice Box Pie.

 

It’s been really nice for the past couple of days and in the late afternoon we were able to chop the limbs we’d trimmed from the oak tree into BBQ wood.  David used his WORX saw (gift from brother Jack) and made short order of the task.  Loaded the pieces into my garden cart (aka – garden hopper)  and stacked it by the BBQ smoker.  Was stunned to see how much there was.  Don’t think I’ll need to worry about wood for a while.  Looks a bit of a mess – started out looking pretty good but the more wood I stacked – the messier it seemed to get.  Took three ‘heavy’  loads in the garden hopper to get it moved.

 

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Seems like overnight everything is blooming. Peach, pear, and plum trees – not to mention the bridal wreath and the irises.    Everything looks so fresh and pretty.  Won’t be long before the heat catches up with us.  In fact, running the AC today.  Maybe it’s because I’m running in and out checking on the smoker?

 

I’m not much on sweets,  but David loves them,  so earlier this week thought I’d make a carrot cake for him.  Since there’s not a lot of free time in my day, needed to figure out how to make one quick and easy.  After scouring the pantry, found a spice cake mix.  Hmmmm, sounded good to me.  All the right flavored spices already there.  All I needed to do was add eggs, butter, water and carrots.  Right?

 

It turned out really delicious. Don’t think I’ll ever make one from scratch again.  Thinking next time I’ll add maybe one more carrot.  I’ve shown 4 carrots in the recipe below, but if you want a more moist cake, you can add another shredded carrot.  Another thought, maybe add some finely chopped pecans – if you like pecans.  Also, used a glass rectangular pan for my cake.   Less cake, more frosting per bite.  🙂

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Easy Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake mix (Duncan Hines Signature Spice Cake)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 medium sized carrots shredded
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix eggs, butter, water, vanilla together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add cake mix and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed
  3. Add shredded carrots to cake mix and fold in (Do not over stir)
  4. Pour into greased and floured baking pans
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 330 degrees (F) until done or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out.

Note:   I baked this cake at a lower temperature than called for, and also baked it about 5 minutes longer than shown on box for the pan size used.  (See times above)  Also, if using a dark or coated pan, reduce the temperature down to 305 degrees (F).  This cake needs to bake a little slower since it has a heavier density.  Just keep an eye on it.

Let the cake completely cool and frost with lots of delicious cream cheese frosting. Yummmm!!!!

carrotcake_sliceBaking Times:

Two – 8″ pans   (26-29 mins)

Two – 9″ pans   (22-25 mins)

One – 13″ x 9″ pan (26-29 mins)

Bundt pan (30-35 mins)

24 Cupcakes (17-20 mins)

 

For those who may not like carrot cake, the following recipe is an option taken from the box.

Old Fashioned Applesauce Spice Cake

(See baking times above)

Ingredients

  • 1 package Duncan Hines Signature Spice Cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling & topping  (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except nuts) in a large mixing bowl
  2. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes
  3. Stir in walnuts
  4. Pour batter into greased and floured pans
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting or canned vanilla frosting to which 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon has been added

 

Last but not least, picture of David and Bear after taking one of their 2 daily walks. They walk about 1/3 of a mile twice a day – hot or cold.

 

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