Carrot-Carrot Cake (Pinch punch first of the month!)

Ok, so it’s not November 1. But in my defence, I planned to bake this carrot cake on Nov 1 but then my parents wanted to have a dinner on Nov 4 and carrot cake is my mom’s favourite.

I haven’t made this Carrot-Carrot Cake in a looooong time.

It’s not often I have the occasion now, but back when hubster was going through a juicing phase, I had so much carrot pulp that I could have made 3 loaves a day and still had leftovers.  Now (thankfully) the juicer is broken, and carrot cake (and carrot muffins, and carrot salads, and carrot stir-fry) is back as a special occasion occurrence!

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One of the things I love best about this cake is that it doesn’t call for butter, and you can actually sub out the vegetable oil in the original recipe for something a bit lighter (read: greek yogurt, applesauce, or even sour cream).  I don’t feel quite so bad about the 2 cups of sugar if I know I’ve used a healthier substitute for oil!  This cake actually is pretty perfect without icing, but I’ve included a recipe down below for anyone who wants a little cream cheese icing in their life.

The original recipe was found on Allrecipes.com, written by Tammy Elliot.  My changes are in red to show any additions/substitutions.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (I usually sub this with plain greek yogurt or applesauce)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (you can use less if you’re not a fan of cinnamon, like me)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated carrots **
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

**I find when grating carrots if you grate them onto paper towel and give them a gentle squeeze to get some (not all!) of the liquid out, the cake bakes more evenly and doesn’t get soggy on the bottom.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Grease and flour your pan of choice – I usually go for a large loaf pan, but a 9×9 square pan also works well.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil (or yogurt, or applesauce), sugar and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk into egg mixture, and fold in carrots and pecans (if using).
  • If you’re using a loaf pan bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out mostly clean. If using a square pan 40-50 minutes should do it.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

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Now what would be carrot cake without a little cream cheese icing??  Once the cake/loaf is cool, a beautiful finishing touch is soft swirls of this luscious icing. The cake also works well with buttercream icing if you’re not a fan of cream cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  • Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Let your cake cool completely then frost.

Note: this icing recipe makes quite a bit of icing – if you’re not a huge fan of sweetness, cut the recipe in half for just a thin layer of it.

Happy baking – and happy November!  It’s almost Christmas which means recipes are coming up for all those yummy sweets that only get made this time of year. I can’t wait!!

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