Cooking with Anita Marcela: Carrot Cake

In my mind, this cake is healthier than a regular pound cake, just because it has carrots. It also has butter and sugar, but carrot is an excellent excuse to enjoy a delicious cake on the pretext that it's "healthier."

Piece of Carrot Cake

This recipe can be adjusted to your preferences by making some simple decisions:

  • Size: You can make it as a full cake or in individual portions using a cupcake pan.
  • Extra ingredients or add ons: If you like carrot cake with nuts, raisins or pineapple, you can add 1/4 cup for each ingredient. My recommendation is not to add the pineapple because it makes the mixture very moist. I like it simple, without raisins, walnuts or pineapple, to enhance the flavors of cinnamon and ginger.
  • The frosting: you can have it with icing or without, I almost always decide to take into account the occasion for which I will use the cake. If it's for my children to have a snack at home, I will not add the frosting. If I'm going to use it for a birthday celebration, I decorate it with icing. You can also sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the cake without frosting, too.

Serves: Twelve mini cakes or a large cake in an 8-inch pan for 8 to 10 people.

Cooks in: 90 minutes approx.

What you'll need //

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of canola oil
  • 3 tbs of buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 cups finite shredded carrot

Instructions //

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, mix the eggs with the brown sugar for 4 minutes.

In a separate bowl or jar, mix the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Once mixed, add this mixture to the eggs and sugar, little by little.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger to the egg mixture. Fold it little by little, until combined and then add the carrot.

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Bonus Tip //

This cake also looks very lovely with frosting. Almost always, I prepare it without any glaze, to give to the children for a snack. When I'm going to use them to serve in celebrations, I make some frosting by whisking cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. The proportions I use to prepare the glaze are 340 grams of cream cheese at room temperature, 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1 2/3 cup powdered sugar.

Place the cream cheese at room temperature in a bowl and whisk at medium speed for one minute. Add the butter and continue whisking for another minute. Then, add the powdered sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.

Cover the frosting with plastic paper and store in the fridge for at least 3 hours before use. You can also prepare it up to 5 days and keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Decorate the mini cakes using a pastry sleeve.

If you're going to decorate a cake instead of cupcakes, wait until it's already cold, and cut it in half to have two layers. Cutting the cakes in half is easier than it looks. Start by putting the cake on a flat surface; if you have a rotating pancake or a board like lazy susan, the process will be more comfortable. Mark with wooden chopsticks the place where you want to cut the cake, that makes it easier. Using a large knife, such as bread knife, cut the cake in half, turning it over gradually. Fill the cake in half with a little frosting. Finally, cover the whole cake.

The carrot cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To decorate, you only need a cake topper like these that I used from the Circus Collection by Merry Monday.

Circus Cupcake Toppers

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