Disclaimer: Please read the title. This is beginner’s baking, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but instead lower our expectations on how awesome this might be. Baby steps. I’m learning right along with you. I say this so that in case you fail, you won’t come for me.
[If you don’t wanna read this, skip to the actual recipe here]
You know that trope with online recipes where the author decides that divulging into their life story and how they came about said recipe is a good idea? This is me doing that right now. This thing you’re reading? I’m testing your patience while I attempt to make the experience of this exhausting recipe even more arduous with my storytelling on how I was inspired to make this carrot cake that apparently all my family and friends claim to love.
In truth, I nicked it from a Swedish recipe book, then added some extra crap that made me feel like a carrot-cake connoisseur. It’s pretty standard stuff, but I’m hoping my unnecessary commentary and sparkling personality makes up for wasting your time.
Here, have an “aesthetic” photo of the final product.
Bear in mind that this cake won’t be the best thing you have ever made; Gordon Ramsey would probably dig his own grave just to roll in it after tasting it, but common folks like us still deserve to have nice things. Not too nice though, because then there’s that whole thing with living up to expectations, followed by crushing disappointment etc. etc.
Right, enough of that. Re-reading it will be a bitch during editing.
Let’s get started.
Prep time: Depends on your will to live, honestly
Baking time: 30 minutes
Servings: Let’s just say there is such a thing as too much carrot cake. I’d say it feeds about 8-10 grown-ass adults with an acceptable degree of sweet-tooth
Other things to worry about: This recipe is not vegan or gluten-free. There is no way I am capable enough for something like that with my level of skill.
Ingredients – The Actual Cake (in metric, you’re welcome):
- 3 large carrots. Roughly 300 grams’ worth
- 3 eggs
- 300 ml sugar
- 300 ml flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 33 ml rapeseed oil (or any vegetable oil that doesn’t smell. But it has to be 33 ml, or else you might ruin your entire cake before you even start!)
(I’m kidding. Round it up, no one’s a genius here)
- 1 – 2 teaspoon cinnamon. Entirely optional, but recommended.
- Some nuts. Pecan’s nice, walnuts are also fine. Just about a spoonful. This is also totally optional
- A baking pan; ideally a rectangular one (28 x 18 x 5 cm or 33 x 23 x 5 cm) because this is a big freaking cake, but anything that’s oven friendly is a-okay
Now, you can stop here and no one would complain. There are already too many ingredients to keep track of, and some as obscure as rapeseed oil might just mess up your grocery list. But if, like me, you’re not a quitter, then you will make the frosting with it.
Ingredients – Frosting
- 100 g cream cheese
- 60 g softened butter (melting it completely is less time-consuming, so do that instead)
- 400 ml icing sugar aka the powdery sugar, not that grainy shit
- Grated zest of 2 limes (or 1 – 2 teaspoon of lemon juice if you don’t want to waste any more energy for this cake than you already have)
- PREHEAT YOUR GODDAMN OVEN TO 175ºC. DO NOT FORGET TO PREHEAT. 180ºC IS ALSO OKAY, JUST MAKE SURE YOUR OVEN IS ON.
- Take your baking pan and line it with a baking sheet, neatly. You don’t need to grease the sides of the pan. I did it anyway.
- Grate the carrots and put ’em aside.
- Take your eggs and sugar, pop them in a giant bowl to whisk in with an electric mixer. I’m one of those privileged idiots who was gifted an electric mixer a while back so it’s all good on my end. If you don’t have one, a) I’m sorry and b) whisk it with a regular whisk for a really really long time. Have a friend over, make them build that arm muscle.
- While that’s happening, stir in your flour and baking powder.
- Add the carrots, oil and cinnamon powder and mix it until it’s a smooth batter. Give it a taste test. If you want more cinnamon, go ahead and add more.
- Break your nuts into smaller pieces and add them as well. Stir very lightly.
- Pour this mixture into your baking pan, ensure that it is evenly distributed, and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the heating death-trap is doing its magic, let’s make our frosting.
- Add all of the frosting ingredients into a bowl and mix it with the electric mixer. If you still haven’t acquired that, bring your friend back and whisk it until it has a slightly thick consistency.
- That’s it. That’s basically what frosting is, just sugar and butter and an extra 1000 calories.
After 30 minutes, poke your cake with a toothpick or fork to check if it leaves a trail of carrot goop. If not, that means it’s done. Bring it out and leave it to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Then slather your frosting on the cake in whatever fashion you prefer. The end result should look something like this:
Voila, your decent-but-not-overly-delicious cake is ready! Not only is this one of the easier carrot cake recipes, but it also deludes you into thinking that you’re being “healthy” simply by not being a chocolate truffle! Fun!
In all seriousness, give this recipe a shot. Once you get used to baking, it can be quite therapeutic; this is the only hobby where violently beating and burning things leads to sweet, colourful edibles that give you a sugar rush, at worst. The next one won’t be as complicated as this one, I promise.