Does a slice of carrot cake count as one of your daily vegetable servings if you use real carrots? I think so.
I really like carrot cake, but I don't make it often because baking an entire cake is just too much cake in my house. We just can't eat it fast enough, no matter how good it is. That's why a smaller version of this cake jumped out at me from the pages of Everyday Food, Martha Stewart's TV Guide size magazine.
With a few adjustments, the cake turned out perfectly. I added raisins because, really, is it carrot cake without raisins? I also decreased the amount of sugar in the frosting because I prefer the taste of cream cheese to sugar. And, as a postscript, the next time I make this I will probably add walnuts as well.
Bravo! The cake was moist and light, with a hint of spicy sweetness. Just the way carrots should be.
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed grated carrots (about 2 to 3 carrots)
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup, but I thought that sounded too sweet. I was right, I think)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9 inch loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Add raisins. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto wire rack, and let cool completely.
3. Make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.
Cream cheese frosting is hard to resist. Watch your fingers!
Make sure to wait until the cake is completely cool. Otherwise, you'll end up with a mess. Don't ask me how I know that. I just do.
Serve at room temperature.
Check off a vegetable serving on that food pyramid thing.
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