I’m just like Ina Garten!

But without the money… or Jeffrey… or the amazing mansion… sigh.

This past weekend Matt and Erin held a little BBQ at their compound, and thankfully the Hubby and I made the list of attendees, along with Jess and Matt. We hadn’t made too many plans on Saturday, so after a quick morning jaunt over to the ‘rents to put in their 40,000 BTU air conditioner which weighs more than I do, I baked. All day. Which made me inordinately happy. I also listened to The Carpenters the whole time I was baking. It was close to a perfect day.

On Tuesday I was watching the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, and she made this amazing Carrot and Pineapple cake that I wanted to try. It is a little labor intensive, but it seriously turned out to be the best carrot cake I have ever had. Do you want the recipe and the pretty pretty pictures? Do you? Oh, ok.

Music, Maestro:

The Carpenter’s Carrot Cake Mix

The main event:

The Barefoot Contessa’s Carrot and Pineapple Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
1 & 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I put mine in tepid water to bring them to room temp)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 & 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pralines (I used glazed pecans)
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

For the frosting:
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature (put in the bowl when you start to make the cake, it will be room temp by the time you need it)
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (ditto)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper (ya, right), then butter and flour the pans. I actually used Crisco and flour, and it worked like a charm.

For the cake:
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla.

Peel and then grate the carrots, keep some of the peels aside.

In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and pralines with 1 tablespoon flour (This keeps them from falling to the bottom of the cake when you bake it). Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 50 or 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined.

Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Use wax paper pieces to keep your plate clean while you frost.

With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Put some of the carrot peelings in water. Pull them out and sprinkle them with sugar. Place them on a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. This will candy the peelings. Use the peelings and some pineapple to decorate the cake. 


When this is all done it is an incredibly moist, rich cake filled with chunky fruits and carrots and nuts, all covered in decadent buttery frosting. Well worth starving yourself for the day in order to have a piece at night.

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4 Responses to I’m just like Ina Garten!

  1. Brenda M says:

    Mmmm, why oh why am I doing South Beach right now? LOL…looks yummy though.

    TJ hates the Contessa, so I have to watch her alone when I actually get tv time(read: not often). Anyway, she has the best scone recipe(cranberry and orange), I eat them with lemon curd…soooo awesome.

  2. Sadie's Mama says:

    Very Impressive!!!!!! It looks fabulous!!!!

  3. Sister says:


    Looks pretty though. 🙂

  4. Joy says:

    I didn’t see this entry before. I can’t believe that you are talking about this cake. When I saw the episode, I just had to make it (and I am not usually one for baking. I prefer to cook.) It is amazing! I have now made it three times for various friends and company and look for a chance to invite enough people over to the house just so that I can make it again. Ina Garten is my hero.

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