Friday, April 16, 2010

Carrot Cake

The farmers market opens tomorrow with promises of rain showers. Perfect timing, as today I made soup from the last squash and pumpkin purchased on the final day of the fall market. And the last of the CSA winter share carrots went into a sweet, spicy cake.

This recipe originated in the Colorado Cache Cookbook, which is a collection of recipes from the Junior League of Denver. They come out with a new edition every once in a while, but mine has a copyright of 1978. It's not listed under "Desserts" but rather under "Picnics and Camping." Other than the note that it travels well, I have no idea why.

It's a great recipe, yet I've made changes to virtually every aspect of it. Sophie Mae serves my version after a dinner of pot roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans in the the fifth Home Crafting Mystery, currently under construction.

Carrot Cake
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup applesauce (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
Cream oil, sugar, and molasses. Add eggs, carrots, applesauce, and vanilla and orange extracts. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to carrot mixture a small amount at a time, blending well. Pour into a 10 x 14 inch greased and sugared pan and bake at 325 degrees for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Spread on the cake.

Changes: The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil. I replace 1/2 cup of that with the cup of applesauce. It called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, a third of which I replaced with the molasses (and use very sweet carrots). Instead of 2 cups of white flour, I replaced half with whole wheat flour. The original calls for a cup of raisins and a cup of chopped pecans, both of which are good. Oh, and I upped the vanilla extract by 1/2 teaspoon and added the orange extract.

Since there are only two of us, I divide the batter between two pans. The 8 x 8 inch we eat. The larger one goes in the freezer to share with guests later.

Before I could get to the finished product with the camera, a hole mysteriously appeared in one corner. K swears it was the cat.

Who apparently used the fork I found in the sink.


  1. Sophie Mae is such a great cook! The cake looks delicious ~ no wonder K couldn't wait.

  2. I love carrot cake, and I like the healthful modifications you made. I think I'm going to have to give this one a try!

  3. Carrot cakes are the best. I've never tried to make one from scratch, just bought cake mixes. Yours looks great. Can't blame the "cat" for getting into to it. :)

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. I really like carrot cake.

    But you could gather up all the dog hair on our basement floor (a lot!) and cover it in cream cheese frosting and I'd eat it.

  5. Happy carrot cake to all...

    I'll remember about the dog hair, D. Solo, next time I make you cookies.

  6. I was trying to not even look at the carrot cake, but I wanted to tell you I couldn't get the comment link to work on your post about pesticides and veggies to avoid. Wanted to mention that when the Chernobyl accident happened, countries in parts of Europe decreed a number of crops be destroyed -- one of those most susceptible to airborne contaminants were the leafy vegetables -- you mentioned spinach, but also lettuce and anything else growing above ground that had edible leaves or buds.

  7. Lol -- the cake isn't THAT evil, Pat. Wonder what's up with the comments on the Big Ten post -- tried to troubleshoot the link with no success.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing out the leafy greens that are susceptible to airborne contaminants. Sounds like anything that grows above ground or under can be risky. Guess we can only do our best to mitigate the problem purchase by purchase.