The other day, Lovah (herein begins his new name) and I were enjoying a sandwich and salad, respectively, when I opened a wrapped square of carrot cake we were to share for dessert. Not two bites in did I notice a glare from across the picnic table. "What?" I asked, thinking I had baby vomit in my hair or spinach in my teeth. "Halfsies!" he yelled. Whoa, someone had declared carrot cake war.
Now it's a running joke—in addition to the one where I boast being a great sharer when countless times I've stabbed hands reaching for my plate—where one of us screws up our nose and sing-songs, "Half-siiieeeess!" in the other person's face. Adults, we are.
With the aforementioned cake, for example, I like to take my time, starting from top to bottom, making sure to get equal parts icing and cake. Maybe pausing for a sip of coffee between bites. (I've been told I'm a ceremonial eater. Compliment? I'll take it.) When another spoon swoops in and steals too much of either part, throwing off the balance and sending my neat tower toppling over, I turn into a screaming toddler in a sandbox whose toy has just been taken. Oh no you di-aannnt.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 5" x 9" loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
3. Make frosting. Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.