Friday, February 11, 2011

My favorite carrot cake

This carrot cake is not the traditional sugar bomb.  It is really carrot-y.  It is sweetened with dates (yum!), bananas, and a little bit of honey.  I love it because it's not overly sweet, and it could serve as a breakfast food as well as a dessert.  I could imagine making it as perfectly cute, healthy little muffins.

Hey, don't make fun of the plate.  College students don't have a lot of plates that fit 9x9 cakes... :)

Also, I have news.  Big news.  I have a food processor!!!!  Our family friend Julie recently moved (back) to England :(  Fortunately, there are silver linings to every cloud, right?  As she didn't want to ship everything halfway around the world, she left a lot of her kitchen stuff behind - to me!  Among the things she left was a food processor, which is something I've been dying to have since this summer.  I love it.  My parents sent it, via some friends who came to see a basketball game, and I got it on Saturday.  My roommates can tell you that I haven't stopped talking about it for weeks.  It will make a lot of recipes easier (or even possible in the first place!), like Brussels sprouts salad, ratatouille (which I will make and post about at a later date), and, of course, carrot cake.

My baby.  Isn't it beautiful??
With a food processor, this recipe is really easy.  Even without a food processor, it's worth making.  I've had it twice in the last month alone.  So, go out and try it!  If delicious and healthy aren't good enough incentives, how about beautiful?  Raisin- and walnut-studded, bits of orange carrot peeking through at every turn, a delectable cream cheese frosting dripping off the top...

Fresh out of the oven.

Favorite Carrot Cake
Adapted from 101 cookbooks

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour or half a.p. and half whole wheat
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt (reduce to 1/4-1/2 tsp. if using salted butter)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup mashed dried dates (use the food processor or chop them very finely and mush them together)
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
1 1/2 cups grated peeled carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or use regular yogurt, but try to get the least liquidy part possible; you can also use lowfat or nonfat)
2 eggs

For frosting:
4-6 oz. cream cheese
2-4 Tbs. plain yogurt (optional, makes it softer)
3+ Tbs. maple syrup (adjust according to taste)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and then walnuts.  Separately, stir together butter and dates, breaking the dates up.  In yet another bowl, combine carrots and bananas.  Add the butter-date mixture.  Whisk in yogurt and eggs.

Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.  Spoon into a prepared pan - either a loaf pan or a 9x9 pan works.  Bake 30-45 minutes for the 9x9, or 50-60 minutes for the loaf pan, until a toothpick comes out clean.    Remove from oven and let cool.  After it has cooled, remove from pan if desired.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cream cheese, yogurt, and maple syrup until smooth.  When the cake is completely cooled, frost the top.  Try to keep it around for longer than 24 hours.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Did this recipe work for you? Tips, suggestions, or advice?