I’ve seen a lot of carrot cake recipes around lately and most of them claim to be the best carrot cake recipe ever. And here’s another one!
I hate carrots. You might already realize that since I’ve mentioned I hate all vegetables except for corn and potatoes, but I do. I couldn’t possibly have carrots in my cake unless they were undetectable, so I used the really fine grater of my food processor. I ate a piece just now and shrieked when I bit into a piece of something. It took me way too long to realize that it was one of the pieces of carrots that got stuck at the top of the grating disc that didn’t get properly obliterated. I’ve brought this cake into work several times and all the Americans recognized it as carrot cake. That should mean something, right? So this tastes like awesome carrot cake but doesn’t taste like vegetables! There.
They don’t have carrot cake in Germany (it might be at Starbucks or something like that) and whenever I give this to Germans, they say it’s the “best Christmas cake ever!” At first I thought it was absurd, but then I realized they have a point. This has cinnamon and ginger. That’s kind of Christmas-y. Do we associate carrot cake with Easter because the Easter Bunny eats carrots? I’ve googled it and couldn’t find an answer. It’s because of the bunnies, right?
The icing is kind of tangy. I only used 1/2 cup of sugar, but the more you add, the less tangy it is. If you prefer a traditional recipe, this one is my favorite.
- 2 cups (240 grams) whole spelt, whole wheat pastry, or whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (220 grams) granulated sugar or coconut sugar (159 grams)
- 3/4 cup (183 grams) unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup (118ml) olive oil, I used extra-virgin
- 14.5 oz / 410 grams grated and peeled carrots*
- 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese
- 1 6-ounce container (170 grams) Greek yogurt*
- 1/2 – 1 cup (60 – 12 grams) powdered sugar
* We only have 10% here so that’s what I used. If the 0% stuff is as thick as the “regular” version, then it should be okay!
Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease three 8″ pans or line them with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the sugar, apple sauce, and olive oil and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Then fold in the carrots, again only until combined. Bake for 13 – 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I accidentally had the fan on so these minutes could be off. It might be longer, but just check it at 13 and see how it is. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pans, and then turn onto a wire rack to cool. Frost when completely cooled.
For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and Greek yogurt. When combined, add the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time. This frosting isn’t pipeable, but if you refrigerate it overnight, it it sets a little more than when first made. This recipe only makes enough to fill the two layers and the top. You can see that the layers also only had thin layers of icing. I used a little less than 1/2 cup per layer. If iced, store in the fridge. The cake stays moist for several days.
Non US-bakers: Unless your cream cheese comes in bricks (not the spreadable kind that comes in tubs) you have to drain the cream cheese or the icing will be a watery mess. For 225 grams, get a 300 gram package and drain it in a thin linen kitchen towel until it’s thick like the American stuff. It should come out to around 225 grams.