Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Classic Carrot Cake 胡蘿蔔蛋糕

The banana bread I made last time made me reminisce about my old baking days. Besides banana bread, carrot cake is also one of my old time favorites. This classic carrot cake recipe is also from Joanne Chang's new recipe book. Just like banana bread, this recipe is not very different from the one I have been using for a very long time. It does not use any magical or special ingredients. But what set it apart from other recipes is the way it is put together. The beating of eggs and sugar to incorporate air bubbles and the slow addition of oil are important factors for producing soft and moist crumb instead of dense and "doughy" cake.

This is another healthy cake, no butter and lots of lots of shredded carrot and walnuts. I made some cream cheese frosting this time so that I could decorate it as a birthday cake but it is optional.

Ingredients for an 8 inch cake or 12 cupcakes:

2 eggs
200g/1 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
150g/ ¾ cup canola oil
3 tbsp nonfat buttermilk (or sour cream)
½ tsp vanilla extract
160g/1 cup+2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
260g/ 2 cups shredded carrots
50g/ ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Optional Cream Cheese frosting:

227g/1 block cream cheese, left at room temperature for 4 hours
60g/ ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
70g/½ cup powdered sugar

1)  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and spray or butter the side. Put 12 paper liners on a cupcake pan if you are making cupcakes.
2)  Beat eggs and brown sugar in a mixer with the whisk attachment on medium high for 3-4 minutes until it is light and thick. (7-8 minutes for a handheld mixer)
3)  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk (or sour cream) and vanilla. Slowly pour it to the egg mixture under low speed, in about 30 seconds.
4)  In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
5)  Fold the flour mixture into the egg sugar mixture. When most of the flour has been incorporated, add the carrots and walnuts. Fold until combined. It will be a very thick batter.
6)  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes (50 minutes for cupcakes) until it is golden brown and it springs back when pressed. Cool on a rack until completely cool.

7)  Make the frosting: beat the cream cheese with the paddle for about a minute until it is smooth. Add the butter and beat for another minute. Scrape the bowl and add the powdered sugar and beat for another minute.
8)  Cover and refrigerate for an hour to firm up for piping or spreading.
9)  Split the cake horizontally into 2 layers.

Spread the frosting to cover the whole cake. Lay the top layer on and spread more frosting to the top and side.


1)  I modified the frosting from the original recipe to using less butter and sugar.
2)  Cold cream cheese can be warmed up in a microwave by using medium power for about 30 seconds.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phoebe,
    It looks very nice I may try it in refreshment in church


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