From the archives: Hummingbird Carrot Cake and Pecan Pound Cake, per reader request

I love getting letters from readers. Tweets and Facebook and Instagram comments are fun, but there’s something about receiving a handwritten note that I treasure. I usually get letters like this from readers who have subscribed to the newspaper for decades. The readers who still clip out recipes from the print food section. The readers who notice if I leave out a single ingredient or step in a recipe. Some of them don’t have the internet. Many of them don’t use social media.

I absolutely love the online community of Statesman readers, but there’s something about the hardcore print readers that still tugs at my heart. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to see print journalism die. Or maybe they just remind me of my mom and grandma, who first instilled my own love of newspapers when I was a kid.

Either way, I was delighted to get a letter from a reader named Julia, who has subscribed to the Statesman since 1974, she notes, had lost two recipes that she hoped I could find.

A reader sent this letter recently to request two recipes she'd misplaced.

A reader sent this letter recently to request two recipes she’d misplaced: One for a carrot cake and another for a pecan pound cake.

These recipes have long since left our digital sites, but I’m reposting them here, just in case that you, too, would like a hummingbird carrot cake and a pecan pie pound cake from our Statesman archives. The carrot cake we published in 2007 and the pound cake in 1990.

Hummingbird Carrot Cake

This fabulous, moist, flavorful cake predates the 1970s version of carrot cake. It is an all-season, winning dessert that freezes like a charm. If you want it as a sheet cake, use a 13-inch-by-9-inch pan and divide the frosting ingredients in half. Like most carrot cakes, this is easily mixed by hand.

For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped pecans
¾ cup grated carrots
2 cups finely chopped banana
For the cream cheese frosting
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups, approximately, confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Finishing touches: ground pecans, ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place pans on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and blend briefly. Add eggs and oil; stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans, carrots and chopped banana; blend well. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes before unmolding onto wire racks to cool. Makes 14 to 20 servings.

For Cream Cheese Frosting, mix all ingredients together until blended. Spread frosting between layers and then on sides and top of cake. Garnish with ground pecans and a light dusting of cinnamon.

— “A Passion for Baking

Mom’s Pecan Pound Cake

1 lb. butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
2 cups finely chopped pecans
2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 275 degrees. Cream butter or margarine with sugar. Beat eggs slightly and add to butter and sugar. Sift flour and salt together. Add to creamed mixture, alternating with milk. Add pecans and vanilla. Bake in a 10-inch tube pan for 1-1 1/2 hours (If a bundt pan is used, there will be excess batter that can be baked in a loaf pan.)


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