Spring brings fun, carrot cake and … unicorns!

Spring is a time of renewed hope. Our spirits seem to rise with the temperatures as our little slice of East Tennessee comes to life in full color.

At Hillcrest Healthcare, we understand that engagement leads to better outcomes, so our staff is dedicated to finding creative ways to spread joy and have fun. This year, Easter did not disappoint.

To get ready for Peter Cottontail, our Beverly Park residents made cute spring ornaments for the Easter tree.

Our Island Home community enjoyed a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Beverly Park residents and staff had a rare and exquisite visit from the Easter Unicorn! Also, the cutest doggie, Sophie, donned her finest spring attire and brought lots of smiles to everyone she met. Her mom is Nurse Practitioner Donna Lephew.

Carrot cake is a treat at any time of the year, and Misty Hay, our dietary director at West Hills, shares the recipe that our residents enjoyed on Easter.

Carrot Cake
3 cups carrot, grated
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple, canned
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups walnuts, crushed

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  • Grate carrots on small holes of box grater. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, sift 2½ cups of flour, cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together.
  • In separate large bowl, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs with electric hand mixer on medium speed until combined.
  • With mixer running, gradually pour in vegetable oil.
  • With mixer on medium-low speed, add ⅓ of flour mixture at a time to wet ingredients. Beat just to incorporate. Stop mixing when there is just a small amount of flour visible.
  • In small bowl, toss raisins with remaining tablespoon of flour.
  • Add raisins, grated carrots and pineapple to batter and fold to incorporate with a rubber spatula.
  • Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes on wire rack until pans are cool to the touch. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on rack.
  • Make icing: In large bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese and vanilla with electric hand mixer on medium-low speed. Once combined, mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating on medium-low speed to incorporate each addition.
  • Assemble cake: Check to see if top of each cake is flat. If not, use a serrated knife to level the tops.
  • Place one cake layer on serving platter or cake stand. Spoon ¼ of the icing on top and spread in even layer. Add another layer of cake and spread with another ¼ of icing. Set last cake layer on top with bottom facing up to ensure a flat surface. Spread rest of icing over top and sides.
  • Gently press walnuts into icing around sides of cake.
  • Chill for 30-60 minutes to let icing set, then slice and serve.

We hope you will enjoy making this recipe for your family and friends and that you, too, have renewed hope this spring.

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