Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week-Past-Your-Due-Date Carrot Cake

Photograph of the carrot cakePregnancy is a magical time! But at some point, you just get tired of huffing and puffing up the stairs, struggling to tie your own shoelaces, and running to the bathroom every few minutes.

So here you are, 42 weeks pregnant, with no sign of labor. Your doctor keeps talking about pitocin, but the thought of an induction sends you into a panic. You want your body to be in control of this birth! You want this birth to be natural from start to finish!  You don’t want to deal with the powerful camelback contractions that an induction can kick off! A quick google search reveals dozens of old wives’ tales on how to get labor started.
Eat spicy Mexican food or eggplant parmesan and wash it down with pineapple juice. Watch a sad movie. Go for a bumpy drive or a brisk walk. Knock back some castor oil. Oh, hang on, isn't castor oil a potent laxative? Do you really want to compound labor pains with agonizing gas pangs and diarrhea?

On the eve of my son’s birth, nine days after my due date, I baked a carrot cake for my dad, who was turning 69 the next day. The plan was to have the cake the next morning, but it looked so good that we decided to have some for dessert that evening. The cake was delicious and moist and I had seconds, and maybe even thirds. Three hours later, labor set in, and my son arrived early the next morning, on his grandpa's birthday!

Coincidence? Maybe... But carrot cake has a high oil and fiber content, both of which stimulate digestion. If there's any truth to the old wive's tales, a digestive challenge is just the thing to get labor started!

I can't be sure if it was the cake that triggered labor or if it was the loving and ceremonious act of baking a birthday cake that did it. Maybe my son would have been born the next day anyway. But I like to think that it was the birthday cake that finally lured him out!

Here's my recipe:
Week-Past-Your-Due-Date Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2½ cups grated carrot
1 big pinch of salt
1¼ cups canola oil
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together the eggs and sugar. 

Add the remaining ingredients. 

Beat until combined.

Pour into a greased cake tin.

Bake at 325°F until done (40-45 min, if using a ring tin).


Frosting

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
4 ounces (½ block) cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
splash of vanilla

Beat together all the ingredients.

Frost the cake when cool. Decorate with walnuts or pecans, pulsed in a blender.


Test it out and let me know! (It's much more delicious than castor oil!)

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