On one of my weekly trips to Costco I bought a huge bag of carrots. They stay good for a long time, and I use them in almost everything. Well, with this ginormous bag of carrots in the back of my mind, I was thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner. I decided on Apricot Mustard Chicken with Almonds, Basil Mexican Squash and some sort of starch. I was trying to decide on a starch for the meal but my mind kept wandering towards dessert. What yummy and forbidden (for the moment because I'm suppose to be on a diet for Fat Club) treat could I make today? I again remembered the carrots and thought, "I can make a carrot cake - that's kinda healthy. . . . Right?" Well, I convinced myself, so here it is. :)
It's a very moist cake that's not too sweet, with lots of carrots and nuts. Some people like raisins in their carrot cake (I do not), and if you are one of those people then by all means feel free to add them.
BTW: I had every intention of using applesauce instead of oil, but I went to my cupboard and I'm all out. So for today I'm using just oil. If you want the cake to be more healthy, use the applesauce instead.
Here's what you'll need:
|carrots, vegetable oil (or applesauce), flour, dark brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, chopped pecans, 4 eggs, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, *a sifter, grater, a microplane, *mixing bowl, *electric mixer or whisk|
Start with the oil (or applesauce) and sugar in the mixing bowl.
|This picture came out really dark, but it's 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar.|
I grated in my nutmeg using my microplane until it looked like I had about 1/4 tsp.
and stir in your chopped pecans.
Bake @ 350 for 40 to 50 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean (just one or two crumbs, but not wet at all).
Let it sit on the counter to cool completely before frosting.
In my opinion, carrot cake must be frosted with cream cheese frosting! I like my cream cheese frosting to taste like cream cheese, and not be too sweet. But if you want a more traditional cream cheese frosting, then replace 4 oz of the cream cheese with 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, and add some more powdered sugar. It's all to taste, so do what you like.
For the frosting, here's what you'll need:
|2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 stick butter, 12 oz cream cheese|
|and 1/2 tsp vanilla|
|Make sure all the lumps are out. This takes a little muscle if you're doing by hand, but I figure if I burn off some calories now then I can eat them back via the cake later. :)|
It looks healthy, right?
Here's the recipe:
Chef Mommy's Carrot Cake
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 cups finely shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
salt (to taste)
Whisk together the cream cheese, butter, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until well combined.