April 7 Avid Bookshop
April 19 The Cook's Warehouse
To kick off the countdown in sweetness, eat cake for the wait.
Layered Carrot Cake
Pineapple and freshly grated carrot sing of spring sweetness. Nothing is sacrificed in this lightened-up cream cheese frosting; it’s just as decadent as you always remembered.
Makes 16 servings Hands-on 30 minutes Total 2 hours
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 tsp. baking soda
11⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
11⁄2 tsp. table salt
11⁄2 (8-oz.) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
11⁄2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
41⁄2 cups grated carrots
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (8-oz.) package 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese
1⁄4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tsp. fat-free milk (optional)
1. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into 2 greased (with cooking spray) and floured (8-inch) round cake pans.
2. Bake at 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).
3. Prepare Frosting: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat.) If desired, beat in up to 4 teaspoons milk to desired consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2⁄3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
Excerpted from The Southern Vegetable Book: A Root-to-Stalk Guide to the South’s Favorite Produce by Rebecca Lang. Copyright © 2016 Time Inc. Books. Reprinted with permission from Oxmoor House, an imprint of Time Inc. Books. All rights reserved.