Carrot cake is so delicious. I can’t remember having a carrot cake I disliked, but there’s still a big, big difference between an incredible, moist carrot cake and a merely good one. It’s bizarre that using a vegetable results in such a soft, moist, tasty cake.
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A nice benefit of carrot cake that makes it even more festive is its natural orange coloring. I think I’m going to make this recipe over Christmas this year with my fiance Therese.
And it’s actually a pretty healthy option for cake! Vegetables are a healthy choice at any time of day. And if you add in some pecans to the batter and sprinkle some on top of the cream cheese frosting, you’ll give it a little protein too.
I just mixed this batter up right before I wrote this; the batter is baking in my oven in a single 9” x 13” pan as I type this up. It’s very relaxing to make carrot cake. I tried mixing up the batter in my Ninja BL770, because I just got it and I want to use it for everything.
Also, just don’t bother grating the carrots. It’s so, so much easier to throw them in the Ninja’s food processor. I was afraid it would liquefy the carrots by slicing them up unevenly, but it worked very well! I wasn’t looking forward to grating the carrots. Such a repetitive task. I don’t like grating things.
But you don’t want them liquefied! If your food processor is going to chop them unevenly, it will pulp some of the carrots while leaving large chunks you won’t want in your batter. So use a food processor if you can, but only if it’s even. Leave that liquid inside the carrots. The recipe doesn’t need carrot juice.
I’m actually sick right now, and I still enjoyed making this recipe. Somehow making cake is more fun to me than making healthy food. It’s unfortunate but true.
Making one large 9” x 13” cake is tiny bit easier than making two smaller round loaves, but then you can make a double layer cake which is quite a bit prettier. I’m planning on being the one who eats most of this cake (hey, at least I’m honest, I guess) so presentation doesn’t matter so much to me this time.
Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. It’s beaten out by cheesecake, for sure, but it’s basically tied with chocolate. I’m not kidding! Try this carrot cake with a delicious cream cheese frosting first, then we’ll talk about whether it’s better than chocolate. I’m undecided.
Makes 16 servings
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 carrots, grated
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix all the ingredients together except carrots, pecans and raisins (if desired). Don’t overmix.
- Stir in carrots, pecans and raisins (if desired).
- Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 13” pan, or pans if using round cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes. Test by sticking the center(s) with a toothpick to determine if it’s done.
Let it cool for 20-30 minutes before eating, or 1 hour before frosting, if you’re going to frost it.