Carrot cake is a cake, known as a quick bread, with grated carrot dispersed throughout the batter. Quick breads are cakes or breads that do not require yeast, hence they make for a quicker preparation. During the baking process, the grated carrot cooks, softens and moistens the cake, imparting a slight carrot-y taste to it. It’s such a beautiful cake, really, because as simple as it comes together, its flavor and appeal are rich and special.
Cake making doesn’t get much easier, as this is a two-bowl operation. The wet and dry ingredients are prepared separately and then combined. There is no need for an electric mixer. A whisk and spatula is all you need. This makes for easy baking and better yet, easy cleanup.
Carrot cakes, not unlike many other vegetable cakes are oil-based. Because of the oil and added moisture from the carrots, the cake is beautifully dense and luscious. Carrot cake has a coarse crumb due to the grated carrots and add-ins such as walnuts or raisins incorporated into the batter. You can use a box grater or a mini food processor to grate the carrots.
Carrot cakes are akin to zucchini cakes. These vegetables act similarly during the baking process. Therefore, the recipe I’ve provided below will work with either carrots or zucchini or even a combination of both. Among the spices used in this recipe is cardamom. It adds warmth and works quite well with the other spices in this cake. If you do not have cardamom, it can be left out. Once baked, the cardamom is hard to define but rounds out the mildly spiced tones of this cake. This recipe uses ground cloves as well. Cloves can pack an unpleasant punch if used excessively. But in moderate amounts, cloves produce a lovely hint of spice to such cakes as this one. I find that a scant 1/4 teaspoon is all we need in this cake. This allows the cloves to come through in the spice medley though not obviously so.
You may use a loaf pan, a bundt pan or a basic round or square cake pan for this recipe. This batter can also be made into cupcakes.
Vegetable-based cakes are usually paired with a cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is a smooth and velvety frosting made of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. It can be flavored with vanilla, citrus zest, or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for an extra zing. I chose to top this carrot cake with a simple cream cheese frosting, flavored with vanilla alone, to showcase the amazing character of this cake.
Scrumptious Carrot CakeRecipe by: Leelabean (Yield: 2 loaf pans OR 2 8” round cakes OR 24 regular-sized cupcakes. This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.) 1 c granulated sugar 1 c light brown sugar 2 c all-purpose flour 2 t baking soda 1 ½ t salt 2 t ground cinnamon ½ t ground nutmeg ½ t ground ginger ½ t ground cardamom, optional Scant ¼ t ground cloves 1 ¼ c canola oil 2 t vanilla 4 large eggs, RT 3 cups grated carrots 1 cup, total, add-ins (raisins, currants, walnuts, or pecans)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line loaf pans or cake tins with parchment and spray with a non-flavored cooking spray. If you are making cupcakes, place liners in your cupcake tin. Set this aside.
In a large bowl, mix the sugars, salt, oil, and vanilla using a whisk and making sure no lumps remain.
Add in the eggs, one at a time and whisk well, incorporating each before adding the next.
In a separate bowl, using a clean whisk, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom (if using). Whisking removes the lumps, if any, and helps blend the dry ingredients.
Once well whisked, place half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Add the grated carrots and mix this in.
Then fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Chop your nuts finely, if you are using them.
I like to toss my add-ins in about 1 T of flour to coat. This helps to prevent the add-ins from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking. In the cake pictured here, I’ve used walnuts. Fold your add-ins into your batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake, following the baking times listed below:Cupcakes: 18 – 20 minutes 8” cakes: 34 – 36 minutes Loaf pan: 40-42 minutes
Check that your cakes are done using the toothpick test. Let them cool in their pans until they reach room temperature. Then frost as desired. Here, I’ve used my Velvety Cream Cheese Frosting.
Sweetly ♥ Yours,