Bahar: A delicious cake to go with your afternoon coffee or tea. You can easily make different variations according to your taste: use walnuts instead of pecans, substitute cream cheese frosting with your own favorite frosting or even simply use caramel syrup. Dust it with confectioner's sugar and/or ground cinnamon for a more delightful look. For fancier presentation, cut the cake into small bars and serve with other bars and cookies.
Eggs: 4 large (room temperature)
Vegetable oil: 1 cup
Sugar: 1+1/2 cups
Vanilla: 1/2 tsp
Grated Carrots: 3 cups (about 2 large carrots)
All purpose flour: 2 cups
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Baking soda: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon: 1 tsp (optional)
Pecan: 1/2 cup (chopped coarsely, optional)
Cream cheese frosting: 1+1/2 cups (recipe here)
Pecan: 1/2 cup (toasted and chopped coarsely, to decorate)
1. Grease and flour one 9x13 cake pan (alternatively, you can grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon (optional) together.
4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, white sugar and vanilla for about 1 minute. Add vegetable oil gradually and continue beating for another 3-4 minutes, until the batter is thick and light colored. Gently mix in the flour mixture until just combined*. Fold in the grated carrots. If desired, stir in chopped pecans.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Even the top as much as possible; give the pan few hard shakes at the end to fully even the batter on top.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (Do not open the oven in the first 25 minutes.)
7. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Turn out onto a plate and frost with the cream cheese frosting. Decorate with toasted and chopped pecans. (In the oven preheated to 350 degree F, toast the pecans for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool and then chop coarsely.)
*You can set the electric mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture gradually just until fully incorporated. For better result, though, mix in the flour mixture with a spatula, swirling on the same direction (e.g. clockwise if you are right handed) just until fully incorporated.