Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Carrot Cake


What do you do with an over-abundance of carrots because your juicer quit working? Why, you make carrot cake! (Or in this case, delicious little carrot cupcakes.) Because come on, who wants to juice when you can eat cake instead?

(Did I mention I had a lot of carrots?)

I googled a recipe for a low-cal version of carrot cake, and also found a low-sugar version in one of my hippie cook-books, the 1976 “Bake Bread” by Marguerite Bencivenga. Between the two, I came up with something not too sinful that still tastes like cake rather than like a hockey puck – success! I should point out that I made a straight up, regular, full fat and sugar, cream cheese frosting. Because I might substitute part whole wheat flour and use less oil, but I will NOT MESS WITH FROSTING.

I’m not giving a traditional recipe here, because you can find those easily (and for about 500 calories a piece!) but do try this version. I made cupcakes, which require less baking time – and pay attention so they don’t become dry! As soon as you can smell them, they are close to done. Since there is much less oil than a traditional recipe calls for (1 cup or more less!) you need more carrots (on average one more cup) to increase the moisture, but it will never be quite as moist. That’s why you NEED the good frosting! However, if you omit the frosting (WHAT!?!?!?) then it is “carrot bread” and you can pretend you’re eating health food. Sure…..

Carrot Cake

4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

·         * Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan (or place cupcake papers into cupcake tins – approx. 18)
·        *  In a bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in carrots; fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
·        * Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes (30 min for cupcakes), or until you smell the cake and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
·        *  Frost when cooled. (see below)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 box powdered sugar
3 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp milk
½ lemon

·        *  Cream the cheese and ½ box of powdered sugar, and add milk and juice of lemon
·        * Add sugar till taste and consistency are right; beat till smooth. You may not need the whole box of sugar. (Oh come on, who am I kidding? Of course you will!)
·         * Frost cooled carrot cake or cupcakes.  

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, topped with Pecans. YUM!!!