I don’t remember when it became our tradition to make this carrot cake each Thanksgiving. It’s not really a Thanksgiving dessert; my mom got the recipe from a friend when I was a kid and made it every now and then, on special occasions, and it was always a hit. As a child, of course, I was wild about the fact that it didn’t have raisins (and I still believe, regardless of whether or not they really are “nature’s candy,” that dehydrated grapes have no place in cake) and the decadent cream cheese icing.
Then, somewhere along the line, we got the idea that this would be the perfect candidate for a cannabis cake; the flavor profile fit well with our herb of choice and we thought its inclusion could only enhance both taste and experience. Thanksgiving, the celebration of harvest and bounty and thankfulness, was definitely the time for a celebration cake such as this. So we tried it out and never went back; we’ve been making it this way for a decade or more. At this point, my mom’s original tastes strange to me because it lacks a key ingredient.
We typically use a double-boiler method to infuse our cooking oil with cannabis compounds, and by that I mean a glass mason jar with a loose lid, placed carefully in a pot with a couple inches of boiling water. Such a process should keep the oil temperature close to a consistent 100 degrees Celsius; we found that two hours seems to do the trick.
Though I’m printing the official, handed down version of this recipe, it’s been altered over the years to various purposes. When I was vegan, we made it with Ener-G Egg Replacer and Earth Balance; when we lived in Vermont we used maple syrup as a sweetener and half whole wheat flour. You can add nutmeg or ginger or cardamom; you can put pecans (or, if you insist, raisins) in the cake batter; you can play around with different extracts, whiskeys, or liqueurs. Just remember to keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients fairly consistent and you’ll be okay. The recipe is flexible and has proven to stand up well to experimentation.
One important note: This is a popular cake, even among squares and especially among children, who, like myself, are often pleasantly surprised by its lack of intrusive, chewy fruit. If dining in mixed company (i.e. with any of the aforementioned squares and/or children), be sure to make two (easily identifiable) cakes and keep the cannabis to yourself and your informed associates.
⅔ cup oil, infused with cannabis
1¾ cups carrots, chopped, boiled, and mashed
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Infuse oil with as much cannabis as you’d like to (safely) enjoy. Strain out plant matter through a cheesecloth. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop, boil, and mash carrots.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. When oil has cooled, stir it into the dry mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Fold in the mashed carrots.
Pour batter evenly into two 9-inch pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.
1 8-ounce pack of cream cheese
1 stick (½ cup) butter
3½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream together butter and cream cheese, using a hand or standing mixer. Add powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, then the vanilla and beat well. Mix in chopped pecans.
Slather on both layers of (cooled) cake, put one on top of the other, and enjoy!