This morning I was compelled to make carrot cake. I guess I like breads and cakes with fresh vegetables hidden inside. (As a kid, I was so surprised to discover that carrot cake was actually made with carrots.) I saw a few recipes that included a can of crushed pineapple as a secret ingredient, but such an item will never be a pantry staple for me so I opted for a recipe incorporating ginger. Of course. I heart ginger. By the way, the ginger is not too strong. And the cake is very moist. And--boy!--did I pack the carrots in there!
If you intend to make a traditional carrot cake-type cake--you know, with two layers and icing in between--then you'll need to double the recipe and use round baking pans. Personally, I like to keep my sweets on the modest size.
Next time, I might try baking powder instead of baking soda. I'd also experiment with reducing the volume of icing and perhaps nixing the butter altogether.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- butter for greasing the pan
- flour for dusting the pan
- 5 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350º.
Toast those pecans if they're not already toasted. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, combine sugar and olive oil. Add eggs one at a time. Add salt.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir until combined.
Fold in carrots, pecans, and ginger.
Butter a 8" x 8" baking pan. Dust with flour. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before icing.
To make the icing, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. (This makes a good amount of icing. Don't feel compelled to use it all.)