In the 1960’s, small squares of carrot cake, served in little round dishes, was a standard dessert option in cafeterias across the country. Along with quiche, fondue and crêpes, the popular cream cheese-frosted sweet would go on to earn a place among the list of top food fads of the 1970’s. But, unlike most fads that come and go (and sometimes come back again), our affection for carrot cake has never declined.
My all-time favorite recipe for carrot cake comes from “Stirring Performances,” a community cookbook by the Junior League of Winston-Salem, Inc. My copy, a first printing edition copyrighted in 1988, also includes some of the best recipes from the now out-of-print “Heritage of Hospitality,” a 1975 publication of the Junior League of Winston-Salem, as well. Charles Kuralt, the 40-year CBS News veteran and long-time host of the “On the Road” segments of “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” also favored this cake. The Wilmington, North Carolina-born journalist, correspondent and primetime host, who died in 1997, wrote: “This is a book about real food. The fabulous moist 14 Carat Cake recipe alone is worth double the price!”
When I contacted the Junior League of Winston-Salem for permission to reprint the recipe for the cake, I was delighted to learn there is a limited edition release of the cookbook available. Filled with “menus for entertaining, quick and easy recipes for today’s living and recipes from favorite restaurants,” the book sells for $18.74. For further information call 336-722-9681, or visit the organization’s website at www.jlws.org.