It has been an exhausting tantrum filled week, chasing a steadily growing toddler. My daughter’s newest discovery is that she can pull out the kitchen table chairs to use as a step stool to sit on top of the kitchen table. I can’t let her out of my sight for even a second or she will be playing on the table top. Geesh. She also now knows how to blow kisses when saying goodbye to someone. The adorable kiss blowing definitely outweighs the terrifying table scaling though. Anyway, Doodle bug is finally asleep for the night. Meaning I actually get to spend some time on the blog. Yay!
As a staple dessert that has been around literally for centuries, there are probably as many recipes for carrot cake as there are people willing to eat it. Any baker worth their salt knows how to bake a dense, moist, and savory carrot cake. So, for my first recipe post I wanted to try making one from a recipe book that a friend gave me. The ingredient list looked promising for a good start on my path to finding the perfect carrot cake recipe. In the interest of not getting sued for copy-right infringement, I am not going to name the book from which I took the recipe or the actual recipe itself. I will list the ingredients used though. This particular carrot cake consists of eggs, molasses sugar (brown sugar), sunflower oil, coarsely grated carrots, all-purpose whole wheat flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and walnuts.
I decided to bake the cake in a 9 inch round cake pan instead of a rectangular cake pan. Just a personal preference, but I think that free-standing cakes look better and therefore taste better than cakes left in the pan. People are more willing to eat the dessert that looks the most appealing. I cut the cake in half through the middle so that I could put a layer of the lemon cream cheese frosting in the center. The frosting recipe that the book listed was more of a glaze than an actual frosting. Since I decided to do a free-standing cake and not a pan cake, I kind of had to improvise the icing recipe. Basically, I used twice as much cream cheese and almost triple the confectioners sugar that the recipe called for to make it thick enough to actually cover the cake without it sliding off. Also, instead of using just lemon zest, I used both clementine and lemon zest. The clementine added a bit of sweet to the lemon’s sour in the frosting. The frosting I made was a definite keeper to be used for future recipes! Yummy!
So, the results? Well..the cake itself was not nearly as moist as I would have liked it to be. I will probably add an extra 1/4 cup of oil to make the cake more moist. I would also like to use white all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour. All-purpose flour is just much better suited for carrot cake than whole wheat flour. It holds the ingredients better together than the more coarse whole wheat flour. My recipe will certainly not be nearly as healthy as a whole-wheat recipe. But, seriously, if you are going to eat cake, then eat cake…not a healthy semi-similar version of cake. There is a time and a place for healthy eating. Dessert time is not that time 😉
Besides the difference in flour, I think I would like to add more sugar. The cake itself tasted more like bread than a cake. I’m sorry, but cake needs to be sweet. It was also kind of tasteless. I could taste the walnuts and the cinnamon, but not much else. When I make my recipe it will have more carrot, and finely grated instead of coarsely grated. More carrots may help the sweetness of the cake without having to add too much more sugar. I also would like to add more spices.
The verdict on this particular recipe? I would not make it again. It was really educational though in helping me to determine what I would like to put in my own recipe. It gave me a great starting place to work from. I will be making another carrot cake this weekend according to my own recipe that has yet to be created. We will see if what I learned from this recipe will help me make my own recipe a mouth-watering winning recipe. Fingers crossed!