Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Straightforward Organic Carrot Cake

Look very closely at the picture to the right, and you'll notice some little fingers at the top, moving in to steal another bite. That's what I was trying to achieve -- a delicious, no-nonsense carrot cake. Yes, a carrot cake. Not a carrot-and-nut cake; not a carrot-and-pineapple-and-coconut-and-everything-under-the-sun cake. I had quite the adventure navigating through numerous recipes, until I found this one from Allrecipes.com. Finally! Someone who appreciates carrot cake for the carrots!

Once again, the buying club came through with delectable delights. I opened up a bag of peeled organic baby carrots, and right away, it was the incredible smell that hit me. Pure, sweet carrots. Just amazing.

I divided the recipe in half, as we are merely a family of three. I made a couple substitutions - the first being pumpkin pie spice, instead of just cinnamon (ginger and carrots just go together so well). I also substituted the vegetable oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil, despite its bad rap, is really actually very healthy for you. When it cooks, it doesn't impart much of a coconut taste at all. I used it for the health benefits; not to impart any coconut flavor. I decided to also use an entire package of cream cheese, as I wanted that flavor to stand out in the frosting. Grating the carrots was very easy, using the special grating blade attachment in my food processor. Here is the halved recipe, with my modifications:
For the carrot cake:
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups grated organic carrots

For the frosting:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a small loaf pan.

In a stand mixer, beat the eggs, coconut oil, white sugar, and vanilla. While that is mixing, in a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Gradually spoon the dry ingredients in with those in the stand mixer. With the mixer still running, add the grated carrots. Stop mixing when just combined. Pour cake batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for approximately 50 minutes (do toothpick test). Cool the finished cake in the pan for ten minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.

When the cake is completely cooled, prepare the frosting.

Cream the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a stand mixer, until light and fluffy. Gradually spoon in the confectioner's sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy.

Level off the cake using a serrated bread knife. Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake, and then apply the rest, to prevent crumbs from surfacing
Enjoy :)

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