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Carrot Cake

April 21, 2011

This winter, I was bombarded by carrots from my CSA’s winter share.  This led me to pursue carrot cake as a more fun way of blasting through all of those carrots.  After scouring the internet for lighter carrot cake recipes, I settled on this one, which I then further modified.  It works as a cake as well as muffins, with or without frosting.  If you are intimidated by the long list of ingredients  (or just don’t like nuts or coconut), you can get away with omitting them pretty easily.  If the mix looks dry, add some more applesauce- the batter should seem pretty rough and moist before baking (hence the long cook time even for the muffins).

Recipe

Cake:

  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 3/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/3  cup  chopped pecans
  • 2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 3  tablespoons  apple sauce
  • 2  large eggs
  • 2  cups  grated carrot
  • 1  cups  canned crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, drained and 2 tbsp. of juice reserved
  • 2 tbsp. chopped candied ginger
  • Cooking spray

Frosting:

  • 1  (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2  cups  powdered sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Pineapple juice reserved from crushed pineapple
  • Additional grated carrot (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, pecans, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Combine apple sauce and eggs in a separate bowl; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated carrot and pineapple into flour mixture. Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan or 15 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, pineapple juice and vanilla just until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish each serving with grated carrot, if desired.

Yield: 16 servings OR 15 muffins

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