Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Carrot Cupcakes and a Converstation with Grandma


It had been a long time since I'd made my grandma’s carrot cake. Grandma’s recipe makes a three-layer cake and I knew that we didn’t need/want to have that much cake around, so I cut the recipe in half, modified it just a bit, and made cupcakes for Doug as a Father’s Day treat.
While I was making Grandma’s recipe I was thinking about her. I thought about how she used to make this cake and it was sold by the slice at a local restaurant – back in the day before rules and regulations of commercial kitchens. And since I was baking it on Father’s Day, I thought about my grandpa and how much he loved my grandma’s mad baking skillz.
Once I had the cakes in the oven I gave my grandma a call. We struggled through the conversation – I’m pretty sure she wasn’t wearing her hearing aids. I told her that I was making her carrot cake recipe and how I had changed it up a bit and baked it in cupcake form. She seemed interested to know that I had added pineapple to the batter, and that I was going to use some leftover cream cheese frosting I had on hand. Then we talked for a bit about Grandpa, how he’s been gone for 26 years now, and that Monday (June 16) was the 105th anniversary of his birth.
And then I asked about her dad – my great-grandfather. What could she tell me about him? I loved that the tone of her voice changed when she spoke of her father; how asking about him softened her and reminded her of him on Father’s Day.
She said, “Well, honey, I don’t know what to tell you,” and she paused before continuing. “He never cursed – I never once heard him say a swear word. And he never drank. Never learned to drive a car – rode his bicycle all over the place. He loved to read and he loved to sing!”
I told her that I remember my mom talking about what a wonderful grandfather he had been and how she had loved him dearly. Grandma’s voice lit up when she said, “Oh, he loved his grandchildren! They were his pride and joy!”
At the end of the conversation I told her that if we were neighbors I’d bring her one of those carrot cupcakes I’d made and she said, “Do you want that recipe? I can send it to you…” Eh-hm. Told you she wasn’t wearing her hearing aids.


Here’s Grandma’s carrot cake recipe, cut in half and slightly modified by me. They were so delicious and got two thumbs up from Douglas.

Deb's Carrot Cupcakes
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus a little bit more...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup raisins
Cream sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl. Stir in pineapple.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.
Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Don't over-mix.
Add grated carrots, nuts, and raisins and fold to incorporate. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting - I used leftovers made from this recipe.
Makes about 16 super delicious cupcakes.

10 comments:

Annes kleine Nähstube said...

oh I love your writing so much. Thank you for sharing all this with us.
Greetings from Hamburg/Germany
Anne

scrappyjacky said...

I'd never have thought of adding pineapple....I think I need to try this....carrot cake is one of our favourites.

Susi said...

Such a sweet talk with Grandma. The cupcakes look to pretty to eat but I'm sure I could force myself! : )

Ruth said...

I love that Grandma offered to share her recipe with you ...

Denise Parsons said...

I like what your grandmother recalled about your great grandfather. Reading, bike riding, singing. Good traits.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love this post Deb. My dad was a great singer, and you just brought that back to me. He sang us to sleep; he sang while he did errands around the house; he sang while he pushed us on the swings at the park. Lots of cowboy ballads and Mexican corillos.
I just made some carrot/raspberry muffins. Really yummy and pretty healthy.
Rinda

Helen Philipps said...

These cupcakes look so delicious and I loved reading about your talk with grandma and her offer of sending you the recipe :)
Happy days, Deb.
Helen xox

Sian said...

I loved this post. My Grandpa had a June birthday too and I think he would have been 110 this year. I often still think of things I would like to tell him .he was the real storyteller in our family.

TSO made a banana loaf yesterday. Now I'll set her the challenge of carrot cake. With pineapple :)

Karen said...

Your cupcakes always look like they stepped out of a fancy bakery! What wonderful stories you've recorded! I would love to have known more about my grandparents.

Audrey said...

Oh my gosh, that is so precious!!! I'm sure you made her day when you asked about her Dad. And your cupcakes look AMAZING. Yum.

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