Though it’s been a long time in coming, I have finally found a scratch carrot cake recipe that is both healthy and delicious. I don’t usually love chunky, piece-y carrot cake with big shavings of vegetable. Because it’s made with puréed carrots, this one is moist and smooth. One of the things I love most about it? The sweetness in this little cake is subtle. And it’s so innocent nutritionally that I let the children have seconds and this will join the breakfast line-up. Not too often–it’s too special.
Ginger Carrot Cake*
2 c. (450 g) peeled, sliced carrots
2 x 2 cm. piece of ginger, very finely chopped
1 c. (250 g) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 large eggs, separated
≈2/3 c. (150 ml) honey
1/3 c. (75 ml) vegetable or light olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Boil the carrots with half the ginger in a saucepan (cover with water). When they are soft, purée with a spoonful of their cooking water until smooth (about 400 ml of purée).
Preheat to 400 F / 200 C and oil a cake pan (about 20 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep or an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan). Next time I’d put in a circle of parchment and then oil that as well as cake can stick otherwise.
Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the carrot purée, remaining ginger, 2 egg yolks, honey, oil, and vanilla.
Beat all the egg whites until stiff (in yet another bowl).
Combine the carrot mixture with the dry ingredients quickly but thoroughly.
Fold in the egg whites, pour in the pan, and bake at 400 F / 200 C for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F / 180 C and bake for about 35 more minutes–until a tester comes out clean. (Note: cake may become quite brown on top.) Cool a bit, then remove cake from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.
It is unbelievably delicious and worth every dirty dish.
*I found this recipe in Nina Planck’s The Farmer’s Market Cookbook (2001).