S was away for Easter this year, which really stunk given how cool the whole basket episode was. Thankfully my parents were here so I wasn't like the crazy cat lady telling the dog to "look at this, look at him, look he's grabbing...." I suppose that would have made me a crazy dog lady. Anyway, they enjoyed it and my dad and I enjoyed Easter dinner together while my mom sat upstairs in the nursery rocking baby M back to sleep after he failed to stay asleep for me. She has this magic tummy rub/lullaby hum gig going on that was like crack when I was a kid and apparently still is. My momma knows magic. And then because S is away all the time and seems to conveniently miss lots of holiday-esque family gatherings, we went to visit baby M's Nola & Grandpa without him. No one's fooling anyone, we all know it's not us anyone wants to see anymore, we merely have the car seat. And milk.
The invite was for baby M, his momma, his Mamie and his PawPaw to join them for dessert. But, on Friday my mom dug up the carrots she planted for us last year. I could barely walk let alone crawl around on the ground digging up carrots last fall, so I'd left them in the ground. Then since that time period people down here call "winter" is more aptly called "the mild season with one or two cold days where you might be lucky enough to wear a scarf or a winter coat, but never both" or "that mild season where none of your dozen wool winter coats fit, but who cares 'cause you haven't worn them in three years anyway" or "that mild season where the locals complain just as much as they do any other time of year when the ground doesn't freeze and your carrots keep growing," we had a big pile of carrots to eat.
If you're not familiar with homegrown carrots grown in a year when the gardener a. was sick as all get-up in the late spring, b. left for the summer and c. couldn't crawl around on the ground in the fall, they don't get thinned out, they're crowded and are therefore the ugliest things you'll ever see. Left in the fridge, these things would have found their way to the trash.
I used my beehive cake pan once before when I made a honey lemon cake and thought Easter was the perfect time to bring it out again. Since we all know carrot cake is merely a vehicle to deliver cream cheese frosting, I spread on a generous glaze with more between the two layers, trying my best to expose the bees from under the tangy goodness.
This recipe works just as well in a three layer cake or in 24 cupcakes. The cake is perfectly not-too-sweet, which works very well with a giant glob of the goodness on top.
Beehive Carrot Cake
one beehive or 24 cupcakes
2 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
1/4 c. orange juice
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking sods
1 t. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sweetened flake coconut
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a whisk), beat together oil and sugar, add eggs until fluffy
2. Add orange juice and vanilla, mix well. Add carrots and coconut
3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients
4. Add dry mixture to the wet in two additions, mixing well after each
5. Fold in the walnuts
6. Divide batter among well-greased pans (I use Pam or Crisco spray) or among 24 lined muffin tins
7. Bake at 350 until a tester comes out clean and the center of the cake bounces back - for the beehive pan it took 45 minutes, for cupcakes start testing around 16 minutes
Cool completely before frosting with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Enjoy!