Another Paula Deen Recipe For A Special Birthday Celebration: Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake

My mother’s birthday celebration calls for another Paula Deen recipe to be prepared in the test kitchen here at Places In The Home.  My mother loves- no, adores carrot cake except when she is all about a coconut cake. We bounce back and forth between the two, but tradition and memories are hard to compete with.  My late maternal grandmother always made my mother a carrot cake for her birthday.  Always.  The gift of carrot cake was her trademark thing, so to speak.

As for her recipe for carrot cake?

Only the good Lord and Lucile knows.

She guarded that baby with her cake baking life.  She never shared the recipe with anyone (that we know of).  I always figured there are plenty of carrot cake recipes out there to be baked, so I did not give it a thought. Fast forward to present carrot cake recipe times where I wish I had it her recipe, but find delicious solace in Paula Deen’s Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake recipe.  To simply say it is a mere substitution or simply just delicious does not do this carrot cake justice.


Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake


Butter, for pans

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

3 cups grated carrots

1 ½ cups chopped pecans, optional


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick salted butter, room temperature

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped pecans



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.


For the frosting:

Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer.  Stir in the nuts.


Spread frosting on top of each cake layer.  Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

~Paula Deen





Home For The Holidays Series Part Four: Holiday Desserts

Holiday desserts.

Oh Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Holiday dinners and holiday desserts make a delicious combination.

I stay true to tradition at Thanksgiving with the meal and dessert offerings.

A house full of family and friends gathered on a day centered around thankfulness and fullness is not the best time to experiment with new dishes, or at least it isn’t for me.

I save that stress for Christmas!

If you can make things easier by purchasing ready made items that pass the taste test and your approval, I highly suggest doing so.

I do make a mean pumpkin and sweet potato pie, but the local market puts mine to shame.

When I say good, I mean delicious with a capital Easy!

Dave the Builder has put his order in for both the pumpkin and the sweet potato pies, and just when I thought I was off the hook, Mama Places In The Home put in her order for a no crust coconut pie and my fresh apple nut cake.

With apron on and mixer in hand, I will make their holiday desserts wishes come true.

No Crust Coconut Pie


4  eggs

1 3⁄4  cups sugar

½  cup flour

¼  cup margarine, melted

2  cups milk

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

1  teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease 10-inch pie pan; set aside.

Combine ingredients in order given; mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Middle of pie will appear rather soft.

Properly done, the pie will have a delicate crust over the top.

Old-fashioned egg custard pie sits upon many a Southern dessert table at the holidays.


Paula Deen’s Southwest Georgia Pound Cake recipe is quite frankly the best pound cake I have ever baked.

My family loves a good pound cake, and they are not afraid to request one quite often.

Can you guess what I was doing last night at nine o’clock?

Baking a Paula Deen Southwest Georgia Pound Cake.

Southwest Georgia Pound Cake


2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

6  eggs

3 cups sugar

2  sticks butter, softened


Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.  Do not preheat oven.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Begin by adding ¼ of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Next, add 1/3 of the heavy cream into butter-sugar mixture. Repeat steps and end with flour.  Stir in flavoring by hand.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan.

Place in a cold oven, set oven temperature at 325, and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes without opening oven door.

Bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary(it was for my pound cake).

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes before plating.

Pumpkin Parfait

When our son is home for the holidays I prepare his all time favorite dessert, Pumpkin Parfaits.

Pumpkin Parfaits


15 Oz Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 ½ Oz Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 Tsp McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice

12 Oz evaporated milk

1 cup(s) H-E-B Select Ingredients Fat Free Milk

4 Oz fat free cream cheese

14 Oz fat free sweetened condensed milk

1 cup(s) whipped cream, reduced fat


In food processor blend together pumpkin, pudding, pie spice, evaporated milk, milk, cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Place in parfait glasses, and chill until set; top with whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

– My H-E-B Texas Life Magazine

recipe apple nut cake 1

Speaking of holiday desserts favorites…

I have had more request for my Old Fashioned Apple Nut Cake recipe lately and am happy to list it again.


Old Fashioned Apple Nut Cake


1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup applesauce

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced


½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¼ cup butter or margarine

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

½ cup chopped pecans


Peel and slice apples.  Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon,  ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside.  Mix together sugar and oil.  Add eggs; beat until creamy.  Add vanilla.

Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour together.  Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.

Next, add apples, apple sauce, and chopped pecans and mix by hand.   Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


For the icing:

In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly.  Immediately drizzle over cooled cake.  Top with pecans.



Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Frosting

This is a wonderful recipe I have had the pleasure of enjoying but not preparing.  It comes from two fabulous sources, Ina Garten and House Beautiful. Pumpkin is in the spotlight at this time of year and recipe options abound.  I like pumpkin recipes that are simple, easy to prepare, and ones that allow the key ingredient to come through in its tastiest form. Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting recipe does just that.  The maple frosting complements and does not overpower the taste of the cupcake. Is that Heath bar topping I see?  Oh my toffee goodness, it is!  Triple D delight~ delicious, decadent and dessert heaven.


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½  teaspoon baking soda

½  teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½  teaspoon ground ginger

½  teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling

½  cup granulated sugar

½  cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

½  cup vegetable oil

Maple Frosting (see recipe below)

½  cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.  Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 ¼-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set aside to cool completely.

Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.  Makes 10 cupcakes

Maple Frosting


6  ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3  tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼  teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor

½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar



In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.