Since I was a little girl your birthday meant your favorite food. I love to eat, I love food and being able to pick all your favorites for a day...... One year it was ham, one baked stuffed shrimp, one year it was pizza so I could see the cute guy that worked there.
When I was in my young twenties the boy I was dating's mother would buy her favorite cake for everyone's birthday. The time it was still semi frozen in the middle was the last time she got the cake for family members while we were dating. Baking someone's favorite cake means you know what that is. That in itself makes it special. And someone's favorite cake may not be cake at all. My Dad gets a blackberry pie for his birthday, my son gets double chocolate mocha trifle.
And the tradition continues - my daughter leaves her teenage years behind on Sunday and for dinner she wants pizza dip (a departure from her usual lasagna) and flour-less chocolate cake. Pizza dip is a new recipe she found that means putting all your toppings in a bowl, covering the bowl with pizza dough and baking it. When it comes out of the oven you flip it over and the dough is used to scoop up the pizza toppings. We shall see how that goes.
Tomorrow my co-worker, row-mate and second Mom turns 70. Her favorite cake is carrot with cream cheese frosting. I'm not sure what my other co-workers have planned for her today - I'm not in the accounting office on Friday but, I brought her carrot cake cupcakes yesterday. I am the first to arrive in the office pre-dawn and she arrives shortly after that. The rest of the office arrives an hour later. She walked into the cupcakes sitting on her desk and a card. I can tell you she is not a hugger, like never and I got a hug.
The original recipe came out of my grandma's cookbook. I've tweaked it many times adding post-it notes each time so I can remember what I changed. I'm really happy with this rendition - it's become my hubby's go to cake as well.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
4 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 20oz. can crushed pineapple w/juice
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
Mix carrots, sugar, olive oil, pineapple and eggs until well combined. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to the carrot mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in coconut and pecans. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clear. Let cool before frosting. Makes 36 cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp. milk
Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and blend until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar until combined. Add milk a little at a time until frosting is of spreading consistency.