Carrot Cake

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

My Dad came for Sunday dinner (see? I’m totally keeping it up!) tonight, and carrot cake is his favourite. They’re leaving town soon, and then we are, and so we’ll be keeping in touch via Skype for the next few weeks. Baking doesn’t translate so well via Skype.

Dinner itself: meatloaf, made with this recipe in order to use up a large block of ground beef excavated from the deep freeze (I’m still on that mission) and a whizzed-up cheese bun (for breadcrumbs) – I tucked a couple sweet potatoes in the oven alongside the meatloaf as it baked, and mashed them with a bit of orange juice concentrate. My Mom brought mashed potatoes too, and salad.

This is the carrot cake recipe I’ve been making for years. I can hardly believe it hasn’t shown up here yet. The great thing about carrot cakes (besides their deliciousness) is that they can be made with other root vegetables as well as or instead of carrots – grated sweet potatoes or beets, although my Dad can detect the merest iota of beet in anything – like the princess and the pea. So today I stuck with carrots. The glaze: icing sugar and lemon juice, stirred with a fork and drizzled overtop.

Also, I needed an excuse to post this:

Most carrot cakes contain a lot of oil – fortunately canola oil is almost all healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, the kind we want to include in our diets, as well as omega 3s, which it seems everyone is trying to get more of. You could use a mild (not extra-virgin) olive oil instead, if you like. And keep in mind this does make a pretty large cake. If you like, use more applesauce – 1 1/2 cups – and only 1/2 cup oil… but this is already trimmed from the original, which called for 1 1/2 cups of oil. You could also try pumpkin puree in place of the applesauce, which is far more nutrient dense and goes well with grated carrots, beets and sweet potatoes. This batter could also be baked as cupcakes/muffins (I’d cut back on the sugar a bit – by half, even).

My Dad’s Carrot Cake

AuthorJulie

Yields1 Serving

3 cups all-purpose flour (you could easily get away with making some of this whole wheat)
2 cups sugar (I usually use half white, half brown)
1 Tbsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp. grated fresh or 1 tsp. dried ginger
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 packed cups coarsely grated carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or a combination (about 3 carrots)
1 cup applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries, or a combination of dried fruit and nuts

1

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a Bundt pan or two 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray.

2

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a smaller bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, ginger and vanilla. Add the oil mixture, grated carrots and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until almost combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir just until the batter is blended.

3

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a Bundt cake, or for 40-45 minutes for layer cakes, until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake(s) in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the edge with a knife, and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you decide to frost the cake, make sure it is completely cool first, or the frosting will melt and slide down the sides.

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Ingredients

 3 cups all-purpose flour (you could easily get away with making some of this whole wheat)
 2 cups sugar (I usually use half white, half brown)
 1 Tbsp. baking soda
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. salt
 1 cup canola oil
 4 large eggs
 1 Tbsp. grated fresh or 1 tsp. dried ginger
 1 Tbsp. vanilla
 2 packed cups coarsely grated carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or a combination (about 3 carrots)
 1 cup applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries, or a combination of dried fruit and nuts

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a Bundt pan or two 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray.

2

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a smaller bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, ginger and vanilla. Add the oil mixture, grated carrots and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until almost combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir just until the batter is blended.

3

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a Bundt cake, or for 40-45 minutes for layer cakes, until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake(s) in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the edge with a knife, and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you decide to frost the cake, make sure it is completely cool first, or the frosting will melt and slide down the sides.

My Dad’s Carrot Cake
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15 comments on “Carrot Cake

  1. kickpleat
    March 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Yum, looks so delicious! I love carrot cake but have always been scared off by all that oil. I’ve made a few lighter versions in the past, but would love to try again. The icing looks perfect!

  2. Vivian
    March 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I think if you used carrot, zucchini and a bit of beet you could call it “Jewel Cake”! I’m off to try that now!!

  3. Lori
    March 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    The amount of oil in my carrot cake recipe bothered me too so I replaced half of it with low fat yogurt. I was so pleased with the results I will always do it that way from now on but please don’t tell my Nana who gave me the recipe.

  4. miss v
    March 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    oh… i’ll have the cake please!

  5. Stacey Snacks
    March 22, 2010 at 6:17 am

    This is a nice recipe……for my favorite cake.
    I am going to try it. It looks less complicated than the others.

  6. julie
    March 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    This looks amazing! Plus, carrot cake is my dad’s favorite, too. I can’t wait to surprise him!

  7. Kathy H
    March 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Cake or death….too funny!

  8. bellini valli
    March 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Carrot cake has always been a favourite of mine…a throw back from the 70’s.

  9. piccola
    March 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I’d like to make this as a layer cake – any thoughts on a lower-fat frosting, cream cheese or other?

  10. Donna
    March 23, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Yum Carrot cake and meatloaf -great comfortable food.
    (comfort food & familar, cozy…)

  11. robyn
    March 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I think I missed something….who is “He”?

  12. JulieVR
    March 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Oops, I had originally titled this “my Dad’s carrot cake”, then thought it sounded silly..

  13. Barb
    March 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I usually request carrot cake for my birthday I like it that much.

  14. Cherine
    March 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

    This is the first time I visit ur blog. I love it. You have sooo many great recipes! & this carrot cake looks sooo good and tempting 🙂

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