Halifax photography

Recipe : The Best Carrot Cake Ever

Ok, ok - I know that's a bold statement but REALLY, I MEAN IT.

I've been looking for the perfect carrot cake recipe for so long.

I've tried my mum's recipe, Sean's mum's recipe, my friend Phil's mum's recipe and guess what? My versions never taste as good as theirs. 

Last month, I was asked to photograph a few cakes, at the Hammonds Plains home of Seahorse Sweets owner Jody Waugh, for the current winter issue of East Coast Living Magazine. I arrived on a Saturday morning to find Jody about to start baking a carrot cake while her business partner-husband Keith sat in the dining room meticulously hand-painting teeny tiny Minnie Mouse decorations for a gorgeous, bright pink, little girl's birthday cake.

After our shoot, Jody looked at East Coast Living's editor, Suzanne Rent, and I and asked, 'Would either of you like a piece of carrot cake?'. Suzanne and I glanced at each other in a 'what kind of question is that?!?' kind of way and both offered a resounding 'YES PLEASE!'.

And that is the exact moment that the best carrot cake I have ever had entered my mouth for the first time.

Light - fluffy - moist (no oil!) - spicy - lots of frosting that's not too sweet.

Absolutely perfect.

When the winter issue of East Coast Living arrived in my mailbox I was thrilled to see Jody's recipe for carrot cake inside. I knew exactly when I was going to make it.

Sunday December 8 - Sean's birthday.

You see, carrot cake is Sean's FAVOURITE and he always has one, in one form or another, on his birthday.

I knew Jody's cake would be the one this year.

And guess what? He LOVED it. And so did I.

I am serious when I say this is the BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE EVER!!!

I contacted Jody and asked if I could post her recipe and she said yes and so I am pleased to share with you:

Seahorse Sweets' Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting aka The Best Carrot Cake Ever

CARROT CAKE

3 eggs

1 C butter, melted

2 C sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 C flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamom

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 C crushed pineapple (include some juice)

2 C grated carrots

  • preheat oven to 350º - grease three 8-inch round cake tins with butter and line with parchment
  • beat eggs, melted butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy
  • sift flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt - add to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated
  • fold crushed pineapple and grated carrot into batter (I also added 250g of chopped walnuts)
  • divide batter between three cake tins and bake 25 minutes - check center with a toothpick - if still sticky, continue to bake checking every couple of minutes
  • cool in tins

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

2 C unsalted butter, room temp (I used salted and still added the 1 tsp of salt and it was fine)

2 blocks cream cheese, room temp

1 tsp clear vanilla (I used regular brown vanilla)

1 tsp salt

8 C icing sugar (aka powdered sugar - aka confectioner's sugar), sifted

  • beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy
  • add icing sugar to butter mixture (if using a stand mixer add all at one - if using a hand mixer, add one cup at a time

Please note - this recipe make a three layer 8-inch round cake and a ton of frosting. If you like less frosting, I would consider halving the cream cheese recipe

A huge gigantic super duper thank you to Jody and Keith at Seahorse Sweets for letting me share 'the best carrot cake recipe ever' with you!!!

Concept Photography at Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia

I brainstormed the concept for this photoshoot with Selena Marchand (make up) and Justin Chevrette (costuming - props - lighting assist) for a few weeks before we photographed at Point Pleasant Park here in Halifax. The models are Bailey Austin-MacMillan and Jocelyn Cormack and neither have prior modelling experience if you can believe it.

We wanted to showcase Selena's make-up skills but we also hoped to capture a sense of bravery, fierceness and defiance of the dark with Justin's wicked costuming and my photography. The girl's capes and other accessories were all handmade by Justin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selena Marchand - Make Up Artist - www.selenamarchand.com - based in Halifax, Selena studied makeup artistry at Blanche MacDonald Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2005 and since returning to Halifax, has focused mostly on weddings. From Selena's site - 'I love what I do and I feel very lucky to make people look and feel beautiful.  I work as a Registered Dental Hygieniest during the week and spend the weekends focusing on my makeup artistry. I guess you could say I like attention to detail!'

Justin Chevrette - Costuming/Props/Lighting Assist - Justin studied Scenography at the University of Ottawa and has most recently designed for Laurentian University and Le Théâtre du Nouvel, both in Sudbury, Ontario, as well as Ottawa's Unicorn Theatre, Théâtre de la Vielle 17 and Actor's Guild. He recently moved from Ontario to Halifax to study at Dalhousie University, and has currently shifted his focus from the stage to the canvas.

People : Aimée and Freddie

I met up with Aimée and Freddie last Saturday for their engagement shoot. They had a fun idea to revisit a couple of memorable places from their first date. Funny enough it invloved beer and fries - lots of fries. They are so lovely and we had a ton of fun on a beautiful sunny September day.

First stop - Maxwell's Plum. When you meet someone you really like, you don't want that first date to end. Aimée and Freddie went to Maxwell's for beer because they were open late the night they met.

Here they are sitting at the same table.

 

 

 

It was so beautiful outside, we moved to the patio. The light really couldn't have been more perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

We left Maxwell's with a mission in mind - Alexandra's. Alexandra's is a staple here in Halifax for late night pizza and poutine. The night Aimée and Freddie met, Maxwell's closed at midnight but they didn't want to leave one another, so they went to Alexandra's, shared poutine and talked until 4am. Here are some of our wanderings on the way to Alexandra's.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Ok', I said. 'I know we're heading to Alexandra's for poutine, but the fries at this chip truck smell SO good!'. We stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

Back on track to Alexandra's.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah! We made it!

 

Sharing a poutine at the same table as the night they met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back out into the beautiful light.

 

 

 

 

 

Heading home.

 

So happy.

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