An Adapted Carrot Cake Recipe by Paula Deen- Quarantine Style


This was my first try at making carrot cake and it was a hit. We had an abundance of  carrots since I’ve been making a lot of lentil soup during our self-quarantine. After about the 4th pot of lentil soup, I decided that I wanted to make something different (and sweet!). I decided carrot cake would fit the bill.

I wanted to make use of the carrots we already had in our refrigerator before they got  too old. If there is anything learned during this time, it is “waste not, want not”. It’s a good idea to be as resourceful as possible during these times because even though we can still go out to do our essential shopping, it’s better to avoid it as much as possible and use whatever you have on hand. Also, it’s a good idea to find different ways to use the same ingredients, such as carrots.

My favorite baker is Paula Deen. I use her recipes alot (The most delicious pumpkin bars EVER!, 2nd time baking contest winner with these Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes!  and I usually adapt them. I used to love watching her shows on Food Network and now she has a YouTube channel. Lately, she’s been doing a lot of quarantine cooking herself.

So of course, while Google searching “carrot cake” and “carrot cake with oil”, I found her recipe. Why not butter you ask? I feel that oil makes and keeps the cake moist. The flavor of butter is better by far, but I noticed that the winning feature of any cake or cupcake is how moist it is.

The ingredients needed for this carrot cake include flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, eggs, vegetable oil, carrots (of course) and pecans (optional).

And here is the list of  my “quarantine style” adaptations.

  • Because I didn’t want to use up all my eggs and flour (I’m a little traumatized because the last 2 times I went to the grocery store, they were all out) and because I felt that we don’t need a “whole” cake, I split the recipe in half.
  • I also don’t have a whole bag of pecans, so I picked all the pecans out of our Costco container of mixed nuts. How’s that for being resourceful. I didn’t have the full amount that I needed, but it was enough to give it a little pecan flavor.
  • I wanted the cake to have a little taste of nutmeg. The only spice in the recipe is cinnamon. However, since I don’t have any nutmeg in my pantry right now and a little trip to the store to get some nutmeg was out of the question, I used the next best thing- “Pumpkin Pie Spice”. I added one teaspoon of it.
  • I didn’t have cream cheese for the frosting, but I had some leftover store bought frosting from when I made my son’s birthday cake last month (I bought it ahead of time anticipating the quarantine). The flavor wasn’t cream cheese but it was vanilla and that’s close enough.
  • I also didn’t use butter to butter the pans, but instead used the oil that was leftover in the measuring cups.

To be honest, I probably would have made all of these adaptations on a regular day  because I don’t really like going to the grocery store just to buy one or two things. I’m usually too lazy for that. Either way, adaptations and all, this carrot cake came out terrific!

Here is a link to the full recipe (without the adaptations): Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

If you make this carrot cake, I am sure you will love it too. Enjoy. Be safe, stay healthy  and take care!

Today I am grateful for homeschooling, working from home, video chatting with family, zooming with co-workers, texting with friends and staying safe and healthy at home. 



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