Sister Carm is a family friend that my mother met through church and subsequently traveled with to Africa and parts of Europe. Her carrot cake is famous in our family – when I was searching for the recipe in my e-mail inbox, I found at least three separate messages with my mom, cousins, and friends all asking for copies of it. When I asked Sister Carm for permission to publish this carrot cake, I also asked her if she had any stories she wanted me to tell. She said, “Can’t think of a story to go along with recipe except your mom said after eating it ‘Carm if the nun thing doesn’t work out for you, you can always bake cakes.'” I agree with my mom – Carm could make a living off selling these cakes!
Carm said a version of this recipe originally appeared in the “Talk About Good Lafayette Junior League Cookbook” and she’s made her own tweaks over the years. I’ve included her original instructions below, with a few of my own comments and suggestions in the footnotes.
Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add eggs and oil and mix well. Add carrots and beat with mixer on medium speed about 2 minutes. Grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes.
For the filling/icing: the original recipe used 1/2 these ingredients and suggested not icing the sides of the cake. I double the recipe for icing and use as filling and icing and always have some left over. (I refrigerate the leftover icing and use it later on another type of cake.)
Cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, add sugar gradually. Add vanilla and pecans. Use as filling and icing.