Last week a colleague had a birthday coming, and the group’s tradition is to have the birthday person choose take-out, then we put in a group order, with the others buying the birthday person’s lunch, and someone tries to make a dessert the birthday person would like. This time, it was carrot cake, and when the holler over the cubicle wall “Amy, do you know how to make carrot cake?” came… this recipe immediately came to mind. Everyone seemed to like it, and plus, my husband hadn’t ever had my carrot cake, and since I made him one too – I was granted “bestest wife ever” status! LOL If you like a carrot cake with LOTS of carrots, give this one a try.
Amy’s Carrot Cake (adapted from Moosewood Desserts)
Step 1 – prepare the carrots
5 c shredded carrots, parsnips, or a combination
1 ½ c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 ¾ c water (if added the optional canned pineapple, use up to maybe ¾ c juice)
1 c raisins
Combine Step 1 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes then remove from heat and let cool completely.
Step 2 – After carrots are cool, preheat the oven to 300*
3 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 c chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
Whisk all Step 2 ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the dry stuff, and later, also the carrot mixture. Be sure you’ve preheated the oven, then grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
Step 3 – Mix and bake
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 can pineapple tidbits, well-drained (optional)
Beat the egg, then combine all Step 3 ingredients together and stir them into the carrot mixture. Add the carrot mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just until you don’t see any more dry flour. Transfer to the Bundt pan. There may be a smidge too much batter, so you might a need to fill a couple of muffin cups or something. Bake approximately an hour, until a knife test comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate and let cool completely.
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c heavy cream, COLD
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Beat first three ingredients until smooth and light. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar with a spatula until it’s mostly incorporated, then beat with and electric mixer until the mixture holds stiff peaks, then put it on the cake however you like. Depending on how much icing you like, this may be halved.