Usually when I'm making dessert for a holiday, I ask some of those attending if they have any ideas about what I should make. I threw the question out a few days before the 4th of July and didn't really get a response. I asked my grandmother and she said, "make whatever you want." So I said, "I think I'll make brownies." And she said, "no brownies." Then I remembered that I had a bag of carrots and a brick of cream cheese in the fridge so I quietly decided to make carrot cake.
I got a late suggestion of Key Lime Pie, which I turned down because of the number of people attending (I'd have to make 2 pies). The person who suggested it didn't have any carrot cake in protest (supposedly she doesn't like carrot cake, also she said it was too "heavy" for a summer barbecue.) She did have some Rice Krispies Treats, which I made as a second dessert.
The carrot cake recipe comes from a former friend and is actually very light and moist. The only change I make is cutting down the sugar from a whopping 2 cups to a heaping 1.5 cups. I whipped the cream cheese frosting a little longer than usual to get it airier too. I thought it was a perfect summer holiday cake.