My fabulous assistant’s birthday is this weekend, so I made him a cake. He asked for something healthy, and since carrot cake is already on its way to being a vegetable, that’s what I made. This version is based on a Cooking Light recipe, with a few tweaks. I subbed out the buttermilk in the cake, added extra carrot and some organic cranberries, and used a little vanilla glaze instead of the cream cheese frosting.
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups organic pre-shredded carrots (in the produce section)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large organic vegetarian-fed eggs
1 container fat free vanilla Activia yogurt (a risk, but it was what I had and it worked)
1 cup dried organic cranberries
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbs (plus a little) 1% milk
1 tbs vanilla
How I Made It:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with Baker’s Secret or Pam with Flour. I use a paper towel to spread the spray evenly in the grooves of the pan.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the shredded carrots to the flour mixure and combine thoroughly. You’ll begin to wonder about this recipe at this point, because you’re used to the wet, mushy, grated carrot going into the batter and adding moisture. It looks weird and “rustic,” but it turns out great. Set that bowl aside.
In the Kitchen-Aid mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars (white and brown) together. When that is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry mixture in batches. Mine blended just fine even before the yogurt, but you can alternate with spoonsful of yogurt if you want. However you do it, add the yogurt and blend until just combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in the dried cranberries last.
The cake batter will be thick. With the spatula, transfer it to the bundt pan and be sure that it fills the pan evenly.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until it is a golden brown on top and the cake tester comes out clean but for a few crumbs. Let it cool in the bundt pan on a wire rack for about twenty minutes. Loosen the sides and center by sliding a knife around the perimeter of the pan. Flip the pan over, give it a light thump, and let it sit on the rack. The cake will gently come free in a few minutes.
When the cake is cool, make a glaze by whisking the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and milk together to get the consistency you want — not too thick, not too runny. You might need a smidge more than 2 tablespoons of milk. Also, 1 tablespoon of vanilla makes a VERY VANILLA glaze that is caramelized in color. If you want a less intense or whiter glaze, use less vanilla and more milk.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake with a spoon. Cover the cake until you are ready to serve.
How It Turned Out:
I made this the night before to take into work today, and we didn’t eat it until late afternoon. Not only did it remain moist (but not smooshy), it smelled and tasted lovely.
Makes 12 normal portions, or 16 skinny ones.