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Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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What a horrific, long, scary week we had.  Our beloved “Gilbert”, a Snowshoe Siamese, almost died.

Early a week ago Friday morning, he was throwing up, and within a few hours he couldn’t even keep water down. We called the vet as soon as he opened, but he was closed on Fridays, (who closes on a Friday??), and the only people there were just staff who said to give him until tomorrow and feed him chicken or beef broth and Kaopectate.

How was he supposed to keep broth down if he couldn’t even keep water down???

Besides that, he’s one finicky cat and doesn’t like people food. Which is why we knew he couldn’t have gotten into the garbage. So what caused him to get sick?? My hubby caught the tail end of him eating a bug, and he killed a NASTY spider several days later. We were thinking possibly a spider made him sick??

 

 

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So first thing last Saturday morning, we called to get him in. He was already dehydrated, which I was afraid of, and his kidneys were actually shutting down!! The vet said they’d get him on a slow-drip IV, so he wouldn’t die of “water poisoning” in his lungs, and he’d “do all he could”.

 

 

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I could not believe it. We were DEVASTATED and afraid we would lose him!!!! I cried and cried and paced and paced the whole entire house. Everything was touch and go over the next 5 days…..

 

 

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….phone call after phone call back and forth. Test after test. Hour after hour and day after day of heartbreaking news and sickening worry.

 

 

 

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5 days later, we FINALLY have Gilbert back home!!! He survived – – but – – he has permanent kidney damage. And it isn’t because of this incident. The vet has determined that he has had kidney damage for a long time, (most likely due to his infamous 7-story fall when he was just a kitten, or possibly even beforehand. His previous owner took very bad care of him and even denied he was his after his fall!!), and that this whole thing was a “flair-up”.

Wow. 🙁

 

 

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He gently told us that he wasn’t going to live to be an 18-19 year old cat. “He won’t be that kind of cat”, he said.

 

 

 

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So Gilbert is right now on some pretty strong heart and kidney pills, and special food, that he may need for the rest of his life.

But he’s home.

And he’s happy!!!

 

 

 

 

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And he will (continue) to be spoiled every single day for the rest of his (hopefully) long life!!

 

 

 

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So that’s why you haven’t been getting any recipes from me lately. Family comes first! 😉

 

 

 

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But I did finally manage to make a great cake. One of my best carrot cakes ever, and frankly, if you don’t mind me saying so, the best one I’ve ever had.

 

 

 

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It didn’t start off well, though. I was full of worry the day I made this, and messed up the first two ingredients of flour and baking soda, getting the amount confused with the third ingredient of baking powder. I broke down and cried. Not because of the stupid flour and soda, but, because I missed my poor little baby! 🙁

 

 

 

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But I started over, and all’s well that ends well. The cake turned out fantastic, and as I type, my sweet baby “Gilbert” is sleeping at mama’s feet. He hasn’t left my side since the minute he’s been home.

Hold your pets tight. Give them lots of love and attention,
because you never know when tragedy can suddenly happen.

Love to all!

 

UPDATE! All of you have been so very kind and wanted to see our Gilbert! So here are a few pictures of him! You can also read more about him on a recipe I did “for him” (me!) right here! 🙂 Thanks all so very much for kindness!!! 🙂

 

 

 

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He heard me say the magic word, “Treats!”, and popped out from behind the chair pillow where he was fast asleep! 🙂

 

 

 

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Yield: 10-12 servings

Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar (can sub light, but dark is better)
  • 1/2 cup regular granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup regular unsweetened applesauce (not chunky-style)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup, lightly packed, sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted if desired
  • 2 cups grated sweet baby carrots ( or about 4 large regular carrots)
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) golden raisins

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, or 1( one pound) box plus 1/4 cup
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. *Spray two 9" cake pans (*see below for other sizes) with nonstick spray, line bottoms with parchment paper, spray paper, and lightly flour whole inside. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, regular sugar, oil, eggs, pineapple, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined and no brown sugar lumps remain. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or mixing spoon, fold the ingredients together until just combined and moistened.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine coconut, pecans, carrots, and golden raisins. Fold into batter.
  • Pour/spoon the batter evenly into the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans placed on a wire rack.
  • For the Frosting: In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more Tablespoon cream if needed to thin out. Add a small tiny pinch of salt. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
  • To Assemble and Frost: Turn first cake out onto the serving plate or stand, bottom side-up, to create a flat surface to frost. Evenly cover the flat top with frosting. Turn second layer out onto the cooling rack and turn cake over to be right side-up again. If you want a flat top to work with, you can saw off the top with a serrated knife, but I never do this. (I hate wasting cake.) Place second cake on top of frosted first layer, and spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. *if you want to decorate, save some of the frosting aside and do a thinner layer on the top and sides.
  • Store frosted cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 7 days.
  • Cake is even better the second day! It gets more moist as it sits.
  • Notes

    For a 3-layer cake, pour the batter evenly into 3 (9") pans, and bake for about 20-24 minutes.
    For an 8" layer cake, bake for 35-40 minutes. (You will have enough batter left for 4 cupcakes).
    To make cupcakes, bake for 20-22 minutes, or until done and tops spring back when lightly pressed. You should get about 24 - 32 regular-sized, depending on the size of your pan. (*Fill about 3/4 full.)
    TIP! : 1 (20 oz.) can crushed and drained pineapple is enough for 3 cakes. Press remaining drained pineapple into a 1/2 cup measuring cup, plop onto a small square of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, place into a ziploc freezer bag. (Repeat with last amount.) Pop into freezer. All ready for your next 2 cakes, and pre-measured! (Thaw on counter before using.)


     

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    Fiordelisa

    Monday 23rd of July 2018

    Awwww! And laughing, at your sweet Gilbert pics. What a beautiful, sleek doll. Looks like an angel. So sorry for all that you went through back there in 2015 with him.

    And that is the LOVELIEST carrot cake I have ever seen. I tried a recipe last year from Epicurious, with maple syrup in the icing, and I thought I had found the last carrot cake recipe I would ever try (it was so delish), but I was wrong. I definitely want to try this one, too. :-) Thanks again for your great German Chocolate Cake recipe!

    Dana

    Thursday 14th of May 2015

    Your carrot cake looks delicious and Gilbert is a gorgeous cat. Thank you for sharing your carrot cake recipe and photos of your baby (cat)!

    Kelly

    Friday 22nd of May 2015

    Thanks, Dana! :D He's a sweetie! :D And you're very welcome! :)

    Old Fat Guy

    Friday 17th of April 2015

    I love carrot cake and this one is so beautifully decorated. Nice post.

    The Old Fat Guy

    Kelly

    Friday 17th of April 2015

    Thank you so very much! :D I gave almost half of it to the neighbors, and they loved it, too! Thanks for stopping by! :D

    Jeanette

    Wednesday 15th of April 2015

    So pretty! Please come & live at my house.

    Kelly

    Wednesday 15th of April 2015

    Awww, thanks, Jeanette! I'd share with you if I could! :D

    Karen

    Wednesday 15th of April 2015

    Kelly, what a pretty, pretty cake you made. But, like the others who have responded, a picture of Gilbert, please. I too have had cats with poor kidney function----be diligent with the new food and don't let him wear you down when he sticks his nose up at it in the beginning---he will adjust! and be the better for it.

    Truly enjoy your food pictures.

    Kelly

    Wednesday 15th of April 2015

    So sorry for your pets, too!!! It sure is hard to tell them no, isn't it?! He hates his new food, but hopefully he'll start eating it! He's being a real pistol about it. :/

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