Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carrot Cake

If Alicia were reading/posting on this blog, I would be sure to hear plenty of righteous indignation about what I did with this recipe, as I did when I made cupcakes from the chocolate layer cake recipe. And maybe I will still get a dose of indignation. You see, instead of the three-layer masterpiece with the marzipan carrots on top that you see front and center on the cover of Maida's cookbook, I made a snack cake. A delicious snack cake.

There are only four people in our house, and we had three cakes in the house this week. Two of them are my fault, I admit. But we weren't having a party, and I have limited refrigerator space and even more limited freezer space. So carrot snack cake it was. And we were all happy.

Making a carrot snack cake is about easy as making muffins. Once you've grated the carrots, you've done half the work. This cake involves raisins but not pineapple, which a lot of recipes include but I don't really "get". I liked the raisins because they mean there's more cake for me.

OK, so far, no beauty contests. And look! You can still see the carrots. To me, that's a plus. I want to firmly believe I'm eating health food here.

Oh, oops. Not so healthy after all. Cream cheese and butter.

I need to figure out what it is about French cream cheese that makes it so liquidy upon beating into a frosting. I really don't want to pay 3 times the going rate for the real Philadelphia stuff.

So it's dripping and running. So we couldn't wait for the cake to chill as Maida implored us to do. We cut it warm (well, room temperature) from the pan and devoured it--or at least some of it. And it was (still is!) good. It's good both warm and cold. And there's room in my fridge for a square pan. At least until the next cake comes along...

Here's the recipe as I made it. If you double the recipe, you can make a three-layer masterpiece. You'll need to chill the layers before frosting because they're delicate. And I'm sure there's a website out there somewhere that will show you how to make marzipan carrots...

Carrot (snack) Cake

2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) sugar
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) brown sugar
10 T. (5 oz.) vegetable oil--I used a bit of hazelnut oil and the rest grapeseed oil
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1-1/2 t. cocoa powder
1 c. minus 1 T. (3.75 oz.) flour--I used about 1/3 whole wheat flour
1/2 c. (2.5 oz.) raisins
1/2 c. (2.7 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 c. (8 oz.) shredded carrots

Heat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugars, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder until everything is well mixed. Now switch to a wooden spoon and mix in the flour--again, just until mixed. Throw in the raisins, walnuts, and carrots and mix those in, too. Easy, right? Pour that into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes just in case) or until a toothpick come out clean. Let the cake cool to room temperature while you bring the cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Then make the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese (light is fine, though it will make a thinner frosting)
1/4 c. (2 oz.) butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. (4 oz.) sifted powdered sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat some more until smooth. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and try to restrain yourself. You should probably store the frosted cake in the refrigerator.


  1. I'm going to make this today, snack size of course! Wanted to tell you that I enjoy your blog.

  2. Hi, Robyn!
    Glad to know you're reading and enjoying the blog! I certainly enjoy baking, eating, and writing my way through it!