Carrot: The Only Cake Worth Eating

I have had a long-lasting, deeply passionate affair with carrot cake ever since my taste buds were awakened to the possibility of re-packaging carrots in heavenly, moist, cake form. The contrast of textures was pleasing – the grittiness of the shredded carrot, the fluffiness of the baked cake batter, the plump raisins pierced between my teeth, and the satisfying crunchiness of walnuts, all covered with a heavenly, creamy, perfectly flavored cream cheese frosting. Frosting on the cake, literally.

As I grew older I realized that this affair needed to be kept under control, and I am happy to report that I have been successful. My husband and I are still married, and we’re still exclusive. I have not yet shacked up with a carrot sheet cake and its heavenly frosting. It also helps that my husband does not LIKE carrot cake (crazy, I know!!!), and so I have no reason to ever make it at home.
This alternately makes me sad and happy, but the time has come for carrot cake to make an appearance in our home! I was ecstatic when I found out that my mother in law has the same affection for carrots as I do. Every time she comes to visit we share our love of carrot juice and I am happy and content. (My go-to drink in the coffee shops of Amman has always been fresh carrot juice. Nothing like it. Well, except for Fresh Mint Lemonade. Kick. Ass. Good.)

So, last night, my mother in law and I conspired to bake a carrot cake and laugh at whoever didn’t want to participate in the festivities. They know not what they do. I, being the weak pushover that I am (mmmhmm) decided to also bake cookies for my chocolate-loving boys. But who cares about the cookies? So cliche!!

So bake I did! Here is the result and recipe; a lighter take on the age-old classic (i.e. no walnuts or cream cheese frosting, and much less butter), but just as enjoyable with the perfect cup of black coffee.
(Note: I use much less sugar than recipes normally do, so if you like your cake on the sweeter side, use 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in this recipe)

Carrot Cake Heaven
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1.75 teaspoons baking soda
2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used about 1.5 because I love ginger)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (you can substitute buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to 3/4 cup of milk)
2 cups finely shredded carrot
1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To soften butter, I usually take the cold stick of butter and put it in the microwave for about 12 seconds, but this may vary depending on your microwave. If you’ve planned ahead it should also be enough to leave the butter out on the countertop for at least half an hour.

Butter AND flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, OR a Bundt pan (I used a Bundt pan).

Place 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended.
Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy (IMPORTANT to let the batter get pale and fluffy here). Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in shredded carrot and raisins.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Remove from pan, and let cool completely before serving.


2 Responses to Carrot: The Only Cake Worth Eating

  1. Pingback: Sleep Rehab « halistic

  2. Dina says:

    It’s also one of my favorite cakes…thanks for reminding me of it, I simply love it…might be baking it this weekend…

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