As a food blogger, I try out new recipes all the time (I just haven’t been posting them!). But there are a handful of recipes I repeat time and time again. This carrot cake recipe is one of the rare few that I turn back to; as far as recipes go, this one is my rock, the one I rely on.
October has arrived, and while the warm weather (where I live) makes me question whether autumn is really here, it’s that time of the year when I long for foods that warm and comfort the soul. With a newly fixed oven and a little restless energy on a Saturday afternoon, it was time to bring this one back out. Carrot cake is a favorite year round, but the spices and heartiness make it the perfect way to usher in the colors and glow of fall.
Which brings me to why I love this recipe so much. Let me count the ways:
- No creaming butter with sugar: I don’t enjoy the creaming process at all. I’m always worried I won’t get enough air into the butter. And I don’t want to want to wait for the butter to soften. No need for any of that with this recipe.
- Two words–brown butter: Browning the butter adds an additional layer of nuttiness in flavor and aroma. If any recipe uses melted butter, brown it first. You’ll be glad you did.
- Less refined flour: As a financier based recipe, this one uses a mix of almond meal and regular all-purpose flour. Replacing the all-purpose flour with an alternative flour also yields good results for the gluten-sensitive.
- Mix it up: Don’t like raisins in your carrot cake? Use pineapple and coconut for a tropical flair instead. Want to add a little decadence? Mix in chocolate chips. Or make it extra hearty with nuts and extra carrots–which is how I like it. You can change the flavor profile each time you make it.
- Forget the layering: I’m all for “rustic charm”–and really, I can’t be bothered with leveling and splitting cakes. Pop it out of the pan, slather on the frosting, and serve large slices. People will love it just the same.
This carrot cake recipe that I love so much is adapted from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking, but it shouldn’t be a secret how good this cake is.
Recipe notes: In the version I made this past weekend, as a trial, I omitted the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (instead of 1 cup all-purpose flour)–the cake wasn’t as moist (though not by any means dry) but was still flavorful and I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all. However, I’m posting the original ingredients and proportions for the carrot cake.