Spiced Carrot Cake

There are  2  kind of people in the  world –  those  who love  carrot  cakes  and  those   who don’t..  well  it  gets a  little  more  complicated  than  that .   Regardless , whichever group you fall into chances  are   you  will like  this   Spiced Carrot Cake .  It is  made   with  hearty  whole  wheat ,  with a  touch of  spices   enhancing  the  nutty  warm   tones.  The  cream  cheese   frosting  is  optional but  absolutely  delicious  when paired  with the  warm  tones of  the   cake .   Without   the  icing this   could  pass  for  a healthy breakfast  option .. .

Among  vegetables   carrots  have high  sugar  content .  Before  processed  sugar  became so common  carrots  were  used in  deserts  around  the  world .    The shredded  carrots   cooks in the   cake  and  helps retain   some  moisture . These  cakes  are  usually  moist   and denser and  many times  loaded   with  other mix ins  like  raisins  and  nuts . Many of  the   recipes  call for  copious  amounts  of   sugar  and  fat  robbing it of its  nutritional advantages  and  loading  it   with  empty calories .

It  does not have to be so .  Cakes  like   these  are perfect  when made   with whole  wheat  flour .  Sugar is not  the  star    here ,  there  are more  earthy ,  nutty  robust  flavors   for  the  adult  palate .  Cutting   back on the  sugar  allows  the robust   flavors  of  the  carrots  and  spices  shine   through . Slather on  the  icing   for  those  time  when  you need  a  sugar  high ,  but  for  me  I will have  these plain  any day   with  a hot  cup of  Joe .

Preheat  the  oven  to  350°F (175°C).    Line  the  bottom  of a 9″  cake  pan  with  parchment paper  and   grease  and   flour  the  sides . Set  aside . Coarsely grate  the   carrots  and set aside.  Use  the  food processor or  the  grater .  The   goal is  to  get   thin  pieces  of   carrots about 2 mm  thick or  so . Sift  the   dry ingredients , and   spice  powders  –  Whole  Wheat  flour , cinnamon , cardamon , ginger , nutmeg , salt  and  baking  powder – together .  In another bowl  beat  oil  and  egg   until  uniformly blended .
Add  the  yogurt  and  vanilla  essence  to the wet ingredients  and  mix well until no lumps  remain and uniformly mixed . Sift  the  dry ingredients over  this  reserving  1 tbsp .   With a  spatula  or  wooden  spoon   fold  the  dry ingredients  into the   wet .   Toss  the   chopped  nuts  in the  reserved   flour  and  set aside .
Add   the  grated  carrots   to the   batter  and   fold in .   Reserve  about  1  tbsp of  nuts   and  fold  the   rest  into the  batter .   Of  course  you can  always   mix  in all the  nuts  at  this  time .
Pour  the  batter into the   prepared  pan  and  sprinkle  the  reserved nuts  on  top .   Bake  in the  preheated  oven for  30 to  35  minutes  until a  toothpick/tester  inserted in the center comes out clean .  Cool in the pan   for  a  few minutes before  inverting  into a  cooling rack to cool  completely .
While  the   cake  is  cooling  prepare  the  icing .   The   quantity  given  here is  just   sufficient  for  a  smooth  spread over  the  top or  to make a  semi  clad   version .    Make  sure  that  the  butter  and  cream  cheese   are  at  room temperature (softened)  before   starting .   Take  butter  and   cream  cheese  in a  mixing  bowl and  beat  together  until blended . Add    about  2 C   sifted  icing  sugar  and  mix in   and   vanilla    and  beat  in  until   thick  and   creamy   and  soft  peaks   form  on the  beater . .  Taste  and add  extra  sugar  if necessary .
Place  the  cake  on  a  serving  platter . Pile  the  frosting on  top .  Spread  using the  back of  a  spoon or offset  spatula .   Do not  worry about  getting  a smooth  finish .   Sprinkle a  dash  of  cinnamon on top  (optional)  and  decorate   with chopped  nuts .


Spiced Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: One 8" Cake Round Cake

Spiced Carrot Cake


WWFlour - 11/2 C (180 gms)
Granulated Sugar - 3/4 C
Cinnamon - 1 Tsp
Cardamom - 1/4 Tsp
Ginger - 1/2 Tsp
Nutmeg - 1/4 Tsp
Salt - 1/2 Tsp
Baking Powder - 2 Tsp
Carrots - 1 1/2 C Coarsely grated
Oil - 1/3 C (any flavorless like Canola )
Thick Yogurt - 3/4 C
Egg - 1
Walnut - 1/2 C
Vanilla - 1/2 Tsp
Unsalted Butter - 4 Tbsp
Cream Cheese - 1/2 C
Icing Sugar - 2 to 21/2 C
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 Tsp
To Finish
Chopped Walnuts - 2 Tbsp
Cinnamon - A Pinch


Make the cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare a 9" round cake pan . Place the chopped nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Coarsely grate the carrots. Sift the dry ingredients - flour , salt , cinnamon , cardamon , ginger , nutmeg and baking powder together. In another bowl beat the eggs and oil together until blended well . Add the yogurt and vanilla essence to this and mix well.Mix 1 tablespoon of flour with the nuts . Add the remaining dry ingredients to the wet and gently fold in using a spatula .Fold in the grated carrots and the chopped nuts reserving 1 tbsp . Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan . Sprinkle the reserved nuts on top .

Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.The cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean .Remove from the oven , let cool in the pan for 5 minutes .Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely .

Make the Frosting

Sift the icing sugar and set aside .Place the softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat together until blended .Add vanilla and about 2 cups of icing sugar and beat in until thick and creamy and soft peaks forms on the beater .Taste and add extra sugar if necessary .

Putting it together

Place the cake on the server , top side up . Pile a layer of frosting on top . Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to to spread the the frosting leaving a rustic look .Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and decorate with chopped nuts .


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