Carrots are growing like crazy in my garden right now. This batch, well, they’re not the prettiest things. Slightly mangled, slightly tangled, slightly…unsightly. My guess is that I didn’t give them enough space between the seeds when I planted them. No more simultaneous drinking and gardening for me.
I’ve been taking these carrots hit with the ugly stick and pulverizing them in the food processor to make carrot salads with lemon, olive oil and herbs – easy, healthy and delicious.
Also, those gnarly little orange guys are a perfect excuse for this cake that I absolutely love. It’s quick to make since the majority of the work is done by your food processor. I’ve made it in a bundt pan and the traditional way— both are great.
My family loves it because it’s just carrots, no nuts or raisins; just plain carrot cake. Moist, tender and delicious, this recipe is a keeper.
Tip: If you’re shopping for carrots at the farmers markets or store, be sure to get the bunches that have the smallest carrots—the little ones are almost sweeter and will make a tastier cake. And pass on that bag of pre-washed baby carrots, please.
Slightly adapted from Alton Brown
Unsalted butter, for the pan
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 cups grated carrots packed, medium grate (approximately 6-8 medium carrots)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt
¾ cup grapeseed oil
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well coated with the flour.
In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and yogurt.
With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean and the cake is beginning to “pull away” from the sides of the pan it has finished cooking. If the toothpick is wet, than reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center. I usually bake this in a bundt pan and it cooks virtually the same time as the 9″ cake pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: approximately 2 cups
1 cup cream cheese
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.