Carrot cake

Last October, I organized Pumpkin Pie Fest, a celebration of that classic Thanksgiving dessert. (In fact, we held the event on the day after Canadian Thanksgiving, a holiday which in this country is called “Columbus Day“, on which we try to pretend we’re not celebrating one of the largest genocides in recorded history.) I baked eight pies, and was able to organize enough other volunteers to double that total. My original purpose in holding the event was to give myself an excuse to try a whole bunch of pumpkin pie recipes and get some sort of objective evaluation as to which one was best — and, not coincidentally, get a bunch of other people to eat most of the pie so I wasn’t stuck with a freezer full of super-high-calorie orange custard.

Earlier this week I was thinking about doing the same for carrot cake. I had three or four recipes that I wanted to try, and I figured <blink>FREE CAKE</blink> would be enough to convince people that it was worth doing. It didn’t seem to work; I received only one response indicating the remotest interest in doing something of the sort, despite asking a number of people who are far better bakers than I am. Of course, carrot cake has its detractors, but for every person who says “sure, I like carrot cake, just don’t make me eat cream-cheese frosting”, there’s another person who views carrot cake as little more than a means to pretend that cream-cheese frosting isn’t quite as unhealthy as it actually is.

Nonetheless, I came up with a list of nine different recipes for things that are vaguely carrot-cake-ish (not counting the Moosewood one that uses pre-cooked carrot) from my personal cookbook collection, and I wanted to take note of them all here before I lose the piece of paper I was using to take notes. There are two major categories: those with raisins, and those with pineapple and shredded or flaked coconut.

Source Recipe Yield Notable ingredients
Diane St. Clair, The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook, p. 29 Spicy Carrot Cake Muffins 12 cupcakes whole-wheat pastry flour, raisins, pecans, allspice/clove/nutmeg
Joanne Chang, Flour, p. 159 Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 12 cupcakes or 2-layer 8″ round raisins, walnuts, ginger
King Arthur Flour, Whole Grain Baking, p. 419 Carrot Cake 9×13 sheet cake or 2-layer 9″ round or 3-layer 8″ round whole wheat (of course), raisins or coconut/pineapple, pecans or walnuts, nutmeg; another KAF cookbook has the same recipe with white flour
Michael Ruhlman, Egg, p. 135 Emilia’s Carrot Cake did not take note rum, raisins, applesauce, walnuts, allspice/nutmeg/cardamom/ginger
Alton Brown, I’m Just Here for More Food, p. 128 18-Carrot Cake did not take note vanilla yogurt; does not actually have 18 carrots
Alton Brown, Good Eats: The Middle Years, p. 228 (from Good Eats #124, “A Taproot Orange”) Carrot Cake 9×3 round plain yogurt, allspice/nutmeg
Zoe Nathan, Huckleberry, p. 98 Carrot-Apple Teacake 9×5 loaf raisins, wheat germ or flaxseed, walnuts, nutmeg, grated apple
Christopher Kimball, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, p. 288 Light Carrot Cake 2-layer 9″ round pineapple and coconut, pecans, cake flour; based on a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that Kimball, the magazine’s owner-publisher, wasn’t happy with (!)
Richard Sax, Classic Home Desserts, p. 434 Applesauce-Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 10″ tube cake pineapple/coconut and raisins, allspice/nutmeg, applesauce, pecans or walnuts
This entry was posted in Food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Carrot cake

  1. Linda says:

    If I could get a handle on my schedule, I would do it!

  2. Linda says:

    If there were a way to post a photo (is there a way to post a photo?) I would show you a picture of a carrot cake that I made this weekend, with candied carrot curls on top.

    • Linda says:

      It was bill by its recipient as “ridiculously opulent,” which may be a bit of an overstatement, but I do think it was probably yummy.

    • That actually sounds like a recipe I’ve seen recently — maybe Joanne Chang’s? (At least the candied carrot bit.) Comments allow regular HTML including <img> tags but I don’t know what sort of policies apply for remote images; you’d have to post it somewhere else (like flickr or imgur, or perhaps even a “public” image posted on the social network of your choice) first before you could put it in a comment here.

Comments are closed.