Recently Eric and I were at his parents house and I decided to make some carrot cake. I love carrot cake, and it’s one of the few cakes I can make that Eric will eat (He’s not a sweets guy). I love this recipe because it’s just super easy and well.. YUMMY! Ever time I’ve ever made it I get rave reviews. I’d love to say it’s my own creation but it’s not. I got it from epicurious.
Here’s a tip: When you take the cakes out of the oven to cool, consider putting them right in the freezer. I actually put mine in the freezer to cool. It gets them cool faster and keeps them moist.
So while you’re enjoying the holiday, BBQ with family and friends consider making this cake.
1/3 cup dried shredded organic unsweetened coconut
About 1 pound organic farm-fresh carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch Lengths (3 cups)
1 cup chopped organic pineapple
1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1/2 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated organic nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup organic canola oil
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper (to ensure that the cake will not stick), or place liners in 2 muffin pans for 24 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Place the dried coconut in a cup of warm water to soften and set it aside for 15 minutes.
- Place the carrots in a food processor and pulse on and off for 1 minute. Then add the pineapple and pulse until the carrots are cut into very small pieces and the pineapple is pureed, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the brown sugar and use a whisk to break up any lumps.
- Drain the coconut and place it in a medium bowl. Add the oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and carrot-pineapple mixture, and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing with a rubber spatula to incorporate but not overmix. When the batter is almost mixed, stir in the additions, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 55 minutes, or until the tops are a very golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (It may look as if the cake is too well done, but it takes a while to bake because it’s so dense.) For cupcakes, the baking time is 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then invert them onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
- Fill and frost the cake with the Cream Cheese-Lemon Zest Frosting (for added oomph, add 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger to the frosting).
- In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until combined and airy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Sift the powdered sugar onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sifted powdered sugar into the frosting (use both hands to bend the paper so the sugar pours slowly into the bowl).
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If the frosting seems too soft to spread, allow it to chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Yield: Makes one 8-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes
Reprinted with permission from Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid, (C) 2009 William Morrow