eat cake: get more veggies in your diet
[5 ingredients | simple baking]

carrot cake-2

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been slightly disappointed by my efforts to make carrot cake. I mean, I love the concept of grated carrots adding sunshiney colour and moistness to a cake. And I adore the idea of them bringing along their wonderful earthy sweetness to the land of cake. But every time I’ve followed a carrot cake recipe, it just hadn’t really tasted like, well, carrots.

So a few weeks ago I came home from the farmers markets with a seriously large bunch of carrots. We’re talking a bargain, $2 for enough carrots to feed an elephant, or at least Bugs Bunny’s whole extended family. We’re talking carrots with their tops on, so vibrant and perky that you knew they had only been picked hours ago.

I’ve been on a quest to increase my veggie intake since talking to nutritionist Kathryn Elliott and realising that my diet could do with a boost in the veggie department. Maybe it was time that I got a little veggie goodness at dessert time?

So I decided to invent with my own carrot cake recipe. Something delicious. A cake where the carrots are standing proud, the star of the show rather than hiding and apologising for showing themselves in the world of sweet treats. And my friends, we have a winner.

This cake is so moist, I think it’s almost impossible to over bake. The texture is like my ginger self-saucing pudding but with carrot bits. It’s the type of cake that doesn’t need cream or ice cream or frosting to accompany it. Although I’m sure a little of the cream cheese frosting from my chocolate guinness cake wouldn’t go astray.

And best of all it’s both gluten and dairy free, so my Dad can enjoy it too. Yay for carrot cake!


carrot cake video

carrot cake carrot cake-3

[5 ingredients | simple baking]
super moist carrot cake

serves 6 – 8

Almond meal can be expensive, though so if you’d prefer to keep costs down substitute the almond meal with some self raising flour or all flour. The texture will be lighter and more traditionally cakey, but it will still be lovely. You probably won’t need to bake it as long either.

This is like one of those wonderfully squidgy brownie recipes where it’s not meant to be cooked all the way through. If you’re a little nervous about eggs not being 100% cooked, by all means do so, but the texture will loose some of it’s pudding-like moistness.

I’ve also made these as 2 individual serves, recipe below

250g (8 1/2 oz) brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or peanut oil
3 eggs
250g (8 1/2 oz) almond meal
250g (8 1/2 oz) carrots, coarsely grated

1. Preheat your oven with a baking sheet on the middle shelf to 180C (350F).

2. Line a 20cm (8in) spring form cake tin with baking paper. Grease the base and side with a little oil.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and oil.

4. Add eggs, one at a time mixing to combine. Stir in almond meal and carrots.

5. Pour cake mixture into the prepared tin and level off with a spoon.

6. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden and feels firm to the touch. Cool in the tin.

carrot cake-5
[5 ingredients | simple baking]
super moist carrot cake – 2 servings

For times when you want something sweet but the idea of a whole cake lying around the house isn’t appealing.

If you don’t want the cake to stick, it’s critical that you follow step2.

If you were cooking for a dinner party you could easily mix up the cakes ahead and then pop them in the oven to cook while you eat your main course. You could bake the recipe above in 6 ramekins and use the baking time below.

85g (3oz) brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1 egg
85g (3oz) almond meal
85g (3oz) carrots, coarsely grated

1. Preheat your oven with a baking sheet on the middle shelf to 180C (350F).

2. Line 2 x 1cup ramekins with baking paper. Grease the base and side with a little oil.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and oil.

4. Add eggs, one at a time mixing to combine. Stir in almond meal and carrots.

5. Pour cake mixture into the prepared ramekins and level off with a spoon.

6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and feels firm to the touch. Cool in the ramekins or serve warm with icecream.
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And it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally updated my Now Reading list. Kinda surprised that I’m still on track to make 52 books for the year.

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{ 59 comments }

Kris December 3, 2012 at 5:08 am

I wanted to post a tweak of your (tasty) recipe that I made tonight, but wanted a version without sugar since I’ve followed a reduced-carb way of eating the last few years.

The tweaks (some out of necessity, some not):

For the oil I used a blend of melted organic coconut oil and salted butter, about half of each.

I didn’t have quite enough almond flour handy so I used about 80% almond flour and 20% coconut flour (finely shredded dried coconut).

And instead of brown sugar, I used a mixture of xylitol and stevia to sweeten – but since we don’t have brown sugar “substitutes” where I live (Northern Finland) to get some flavour into it I used a little bit of:

grated fresh ginger (about a grape-sized dollop)
a generous pinch each of powdered cardamom, cinnamon, clove
2 drops caramel flavouring

The recipe is forgiving, given all the changes I made, PLUS I had about an 18cm pan (7.5 inches), and it only needed 30 minutes or so (my oven can be a bit fast). It does break the 5-ingredient rule, granted, but it turned out really good, so thank you for this post!

jules December 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Wonderful Kris!
Thanks for sharing

Karly January 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

Hey Jules, just discovered this great post! What would you say about substituting the almond meal for coconut flour? (only as I have lots of coconut flour in my pantry I’m trying to use up!) Would the flavours/texture not work as well? Thanks!

Gergana Dimitrova February 2, 2013 at 12:30 am

It is a must to try this one great recipe.

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