Mrs. Hogan’s Carrot Cake

My mother must have baked hundreds of these super-moist three-layer cakes with maple cream cheese frosting in her lifetime. It was a family favorite as well as the star of the dessert rotation at the restaurant she ran in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. She probably burned through a half-dozen food processors grating all those carrots.

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After mom passed away, my sister Susie inherited the carrot cake tradition. One Christmas, Susie and I baked the cake layers and left them cooling on the kitchen counter. When we turned around, we discovered that Wyatt, our English Setter, had devoured most of one of the layers. We mixed up anohter batch of batter, put it in the oven, and then realized we’d used up all the eggs we needed for another recipe. We set the timer and put my dad and Tom, who were watching football, in charge of removing the cakes. When we returned from the store, we were greeted with the distinctive aroma of burnt cake. Sure enough, their team had scored a couple touchdowns—but our cakes were ruined. Again. That was the year we discovered that two-layer carrot cake was better than none. If you attempt this creation for Easter, I hope your preparation is not as drama-fueled as ours was that fateful Chistmas!

Happy Easter. Happy Spring. And happy baking!

Hugs,
MKA

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