Monday, September 2, 2013

Rustic/Modern Carrot Cake

Birthday cakes are too fun to forego. Whether covered with sprinkles and buttercream or drizzled with ganache or piled high with whipped cream, a cake is just better when you stick candles into it and sing off key. 

So we made this cake for our mom's birthday. Yeah, it is not as high the bakery's, and it wasn't swimming in frosting, but that's what makes it rustic. Right? And the modern comes from the crushed pineapple, the lack of eggs, and the spices to make up for the low sugar.

Whatever imperfections there are, we believe, can be compensated by a little decoration. So you have the homemade marzipan carrots on top. With those, it looks practically professional. And they cover the uneven frosting quite nicely.

Carrot Cake
Makes one 9-inch 2-layer cake; Serves...who am I to tell you?

-3 cups finely grated carrot, unpacked

-2 tablespoons flax powder

-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (increase to make a sweeter cake)

-1/2 cup crushed pineapple

-1 1/4 cup buttermilk

-3/8 cup oil (we used canola)

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp lemon zest

-2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

-1 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon (or 2 tsp bottled)

-1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

-2 cloves, powdered

-4 tsp baking powder

-1 1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-3/4 cups raisins, soaked in warm water and drained

-3/4 cup walnuts, chopped and tossed in flour

Sift all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If you want really fluffy cake, sift twice, but we think one sifting is just fine. Combine all the wet ingredients, including the carrots, into a smaller mixing bowl. 

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the well ingredients 1/3 at a time, mixing slowly. When all the ingredients are combined, stir lightly. Do not overmix, there should be some lumps! 

Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans, and pour an equal amount of batter into each pan. Bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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