Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Classic Carrot Cake

Yesterday morning, my father passed away very peacefully from this life. He was at home with us in Hospice care since September first. It was perhaps the most miraculous time of my life with him.

As a tribute I would like to share one of his recipes brought home from the Navy many many years ago. Growing up I only knew of my dad's time in the Navy as a cook. It wasn't until closing his house and organizing papers I found out he was a decorated marksman; memories he chose never to speak about.

1-2-3 Cake

sugar 18 pounds
shortening 9 pounds
salt 6 ounces
eggs 6 dozen
milk, water and vanilla combined 9 quarts
flour 27 pounds
baking powder 27 ounces

Bake at 400 degrees

That's all the instructions there are. The quantities for brownies are just as hilarious. If you ever need to make 700 biscuits, just whistle.

The many aides, nurses, social workers, chaplains and others who passed through my house never failed to ask about the cookbook I was often seen taking notes from. Needless to say, it was Heavenly Cakes. They were invariably curious about the bake along. It was fun to see their reaction when they looked at the photographs of Rose's cakes.

Early this morning, I baked the Classic Carrot Cake recipe. The only recipe deviation was using Lindt Excellence White Coconut white chocolate. The store was out of both Lindt and Black and Greens white chocolate. I love coconut in carrot cake and thought it might be a nice touch. The frosting turned out to be exquisite to the point I would love to know how to turn it into truffles rolled in roasted pecans. Half the batter went into cupcakes and the other into the round cake pan. I found it to be a lighter carrot cake than I have had in the past. It is a definite new favorite in my house.


  1. Vicki, I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds as though you had a special bond with your father and were able to make the most of your final moments together. I can only imagine how difficult it is to say goodbye to a parent.

    Wow, that recipe sounds frightening in its quantities... how many cake strips would you need to circle the many many gigantic pans required to make it.... let's ask rose :)

  2. I'm so sorry! Must have been hard for you. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  3. Vicki, I am sending thoughts your way and am sorry to hear of your father's passing. I am always amazed at the humility of veterans, such as your father.

    What an interesting memento to have from your father -- not necessarily useful-- ike...700 biscuits.

    Take care.

  4. I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. It is so amazing that you were able to spend the past few months providing such wonderful care for your father. Treasured memories, I am certain.

    May your happy memories provide you with some comfort during the weeks ahead.

  5. Vicki - you speak of your father's last days with such joy and grace. How wonderful for you both to have been able to share that time together. Bittersweet, I'm sure. May the days ahead continue to be filled with joy as you reflect upon his life with friends and family.

  6. Vicki, so sorry for your loss. It's always hard to say goodbye to a parent (been there). It sounds like you have many wonderful memories of him. Funny how both your dad and my dad were great cooks! :o)

    Your cupcakes and round cake look great. Everybody has raved about the frosting so I'll definitely have to try it. I made the carrot cake (will try to post it tonight) but used my "standby" CC frosting.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. My father passed away in June after 10 weeks in the hospital--your experience with in-home hospice sounds like it was far more pleasant. As such things go, that is...

    I love the 1-2-3 Cake recipe, and I'll remember to get the recipe from you the next time I need to bake 700 biscuits!

  8. Thank you for sharing your tribute to this remarkable man, your father. It was a blessing to have been there for the last period with him that you describe as the most meaningful of your life. Please accept my condolences at this time and happiness in memories.

    I do love the idea of the coconut chocolate for the extra flavoring. It sounds really good. I liked this cake very much also. And it's easy! I am eyeing the upcoming pincone with a bit of a jaundiced eye.