One of my favorite top five holidays, is the 4th of July or our Independence Day. Not because I get to dress from pony tail to toenail polish in red, white and blues (although I really do like it….) or because I love to watch the parade every year but because I get to write my “I’m blessed list.” My list pretty much starts off the same every year with the first three sentences: I am blessed to have freedom. I am blessed to have freedom of choice. I am blessed to be an American. Then I trail off on a million blessings that remind me why life is really and I mean really good. Sometimes we get lost in the daily hosh posh and forget how good we really do have it. One of my blessings is to be able to write to you. We can over look and take for granted daily things that people have worked very hard for us. People we have never met and don’t even know! Never take anything for granted. I am able to type this to you because many people fought for me to have this right. It amazes me. When the true spirit of how things come about and all the energy and motion it took to get where you are reading this today, it brings a new light into the word of “holiday” and even “life.”
As I sit here typing this, the sky is beautifully lit in colors of red, greens, blues and purples. Fireworks are shooting off everywhere. Apparently, my neighborhood celebrates the week before and three weeks after! But I can’t help but enjoy the beautiful sky and be thankful. I’m looking forward to next weeks parade too. We sit on a street and everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the town comes and celebrates their company, cars, causes and support. It reminds me of the many hardworking men and women the town has and what fantastic companies they offer. My favorites are the animals, the Chinese Dragon dance, corvettes that line for miles, fire stations, soldiers and more. I see how together, we are all united. Then we go back to the house for a BBQ – or sometimes a brunch. The parade starts at 9am and you better leave 45 minutes early to walk down the street and get good seats!
This year for our cookout and #SundaySupper, I’m bringing my “Mini Carrot Cakes” and they mmm mmm good! I make them “mini” because I’m a “grab and go” kind of girl. I like finger foods and anything to get messy. To be honest, I really don’t care for cutting a slice of cake. Isn’t that odd? I won’t ever get the first slice because I’m afraid of making the rest of the cake look horrible as I struggle to get out the first slice! So, when I have a fear, I try to tackle them but this, I choose to go around! Besides, its more fun picking up a smaller piece and then you don’t feel too bad for all that goodness you slammed down when you have a second one!
Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. I love the spicy version and my sweet version! Some people make it with zucchini for a “lighter” style but I say, hey go for it! I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE this recipe. It’s dense, moist and there are BIG chunks of everything! The best part, its sweetened with orange marmalade. Oh I am in love with orange marmalade to the fullest. Add a touch of orange juice to the frosting and it adds a new level of sweetness.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 2 Tbs. orange marmalade
- 2 cups carrots: shredded (I actually used a mandolin on the thinnest slices, level 1. I like to see the carrots)
- 1 cups walnuts: chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Tbs orange juice
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 8 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 16 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
Recipe as follows:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a “brownie” pan. (I have the brownie pan where you only get corner pieces. See note:)
3. Mix in a bowl: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt.
4. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange marmalade.
5. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and continue mixing for a few minutes until well incorporated.
6. Fold in nuts, raisins and carrots and mix for another minute.
7. Pour into pan
(Seriously, can you see those big delicious chunks? I LOVE them! Now you really know what you’re eating! hehe). Remember to only fill them halfway or else they will bubble over in the oven!
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. (You can take a toothpick and insert it into the center to ensure its finished cooking!)
Now, I stopped here and went to bed. With two kids, (a 3 year old and a 19 month and a 5 month puppy) I was beat! I do my baking between 10-11pm so I needed to get some sleep. The next day I made the frosting. The mini carrot cakes were pleasantly moist the and begging for homemade frosting!
Making the frosting:
9. In a big bowl, mix vanilla, orange juice, confectioners’ sugar, butter and cream cheese on medium – medium high-speed using a mixer.
(This is where I devoured my spatula – it almost was a gonner!)
10. Spread on top of carrot cakes and off you go! A delicious and amazing dessert!
Lift a glass of milk (if you’re like me and eating for breakfast!) to the wonderful, portable, easy to take with you, Mini Carrot Cakes, our fantastic #SundaySupper group and our beautiful amazing America! This is one of my best desserts and I dedicate it to our Country and Americans everywhere. Thank you for our Independence and everyone making America what it is today – YOU are all amazing.
NOTE: You can make this into cake form as well. Bake for 40-50 minutes and place frosting in between layers or on top!
PS. Since the parade isn’t for another day or so, I put the frosting in a sealed container and placed in the fridge for freshness. When I’m ready, I’ll frost them as I go!
Be sure to check out our delicious and yummy 4th of July menu from other #SundaySupper bloggers! By the time you read all of our posts, I hope your belly is filled :)
- Tender & Sweet Crockpot Brisket Juanita’s Cocina
- Savory Patriotic Chicken Kabobs Big Bear’s Wife
- Firecracker Salmon Rolls Comfy Cuisine
- Red, White & Blue Grilled Pizza Momma’s Meals
- Baby Back Ribs with Balsamic Peach BBQ Sauce Damn Delicious
- Bubblin’ Brown Sugar Baby Back Ribs In The Kitchen With KP
- Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Beef Mrs. Mama Hen
- Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad with Perfectly Grilled Chicken and Potatoes Daddy Knows Less
- Texas Smoked Brisket Doggie At The Dinner Table
- Grilled Chicken in a Blueberry BBQ Sauce Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Chicken Burgers with Curried Cabbage Slaw-Indian Soni’s Food for Thought
- Finger Foods for the Fourth Pescetarian Journal
- Grilled Pork Satays with Peanut Sauce Tora’s Real Food
Salads and Sides:
- Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad Supper for a Steal
- Roasted/Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Katherine Martinelli
- Patriotic Ranch Potato Salad The Meltaways
- Roasted Red Pepper & White Bean Salad Are you hungry
- Texas-Creole Crawfish Potato Salad The Weekend gourmet
- Spicy Italian Peppers in Sauce What Smells so Good?
- Sangria Fruit Salad Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Stuffed Black Olive Cookistry
- Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing Dinners Dishes and Desserts
- Low Fat Pasta Salad Basic and Delicious
- Bean Salad with Pickled Vegetables Diabetic Foodie
- Tomato and Mozzarella Appetizer Family Foodie
- Red White & Blueberry Ricotta Cupcakes Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Red Velvet Brownies Magnolia Days
- S’mores Pastries Daily Dish Recipes
- Red, White and Blue Firecracker Cupcakes Chocolate Moosey
- Caramel-filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream The Messy Baker
- Strawberry and Cream Cake Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- White Chocolate Berry Tart Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Red White and Blue Coconut Rum Cake Family Spice
- Individual Red White and Blue Triffles Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
- Mini Carrot Cakes Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Plum and Apple Pies Cositas Bonitas