Mama Dip's Carrot Cake - One of the best carrot cakes and so simple

Before the internet... there were books.  In 1999 I bought this one hot off the press.  It's an oh-my-gosh so awesome book of amazingly good ol' Southern foods and comfort foods.  At the time, I lived about as far North as you can get without crossing over to Canadian soil from the USA. But Southern food knows no boundaries.  It's just plain old good.

We had 3 itty bitty little children and were living on a very small single income.  Good old Southern home cooking is perfect in so many ways.  It's comforting.  It's filling.  It uses simple ingredients from the cupboard and refrigerator. It's great on cold, winter days.  I could feed a family of five on a budget so small most college students today are probably making the same working part time around their class schedules. 

This is the book that taught me how to fry chicken.  To make a killer broccoli casserole. My first attempt at Blue Cheese Dressing.

But admittedly, because I am a voracious reader; I loved this book for the stories.  The first part of the book tells Mama's story and the tiny little anecdotes sprinkled throughout the rest of the books with the recipes are the sort of cookbooks I'm drawn to.  I always have been.

I didn't know if it was still available for purchase so this morning I looked it up on Amazon and found a listing for it!  It's called:  Mama Dip's Kitchen.

I haven't made this particular version in a few years since we rarely eat food items with this much flour in them and we don't use sugar, but it's Autumn - the leaves are changing - there is a chill in the air - and I always start to crave and think about desserts like this one in the Fall.  I may actually make this one this week - using my own hand ground flour and of course a natural sweetener in place of the sugar.

Carrot Cake

2 1/4 c self-rising flour
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 c canola/vegetable oil (my book calls for 1 1/2 c but I cut down a bit when I'd make it)
4 eggs
3 c grated or shredded carrots
1 c chopped walnuts
16 oz. cream cheese (2 - 8 oz. pkg.)
1 stick butter (real)
4 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c crushed walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° -Mix the oil and sugar til smooth.  Add the eggs.  Beat well.  Stir in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add the carrots and walnuts and mix until incorporated into the batter.  Pour into 3 greased and floured round cake pans.  You can line them with parchment paper if you wish.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the centers are done.l  Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.  While they are cooling completely make the frosting.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Beat in the powdered sugar about a cup at a time.  Add the vanilla and beat well.  Spread some frosting between the layers of cake, adding a bit of crushed walnuts to each layer.  Finish the top with a layer of frosting and the final sprinkle of walnuts.

You might also be interested in these related products available through Amazon;

Mama Dip's Kitchen
Christmas at Grandma's: All the Flavors of the Holiday Season in Over 200 Delicious Easy-to-Make Recipes (Seasonal Cookbook Collection)
Mama Dip's Family Cookbook

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