We are revisiting a fan-favorite today that was originally part of a collective recipe post, but I am pleased to share this recipe on it’s own today.
Today’s recipe boasts of layers of moist, mildly spiced cake that are flecked with shredded carrots and topped with a zesty cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake is arguably the first socially acceptable cake made with a vegetable without the stigma of being…well, a cake made with a vegetable. Which is interesting to me because when you introduce things like zucchini cake or avocado brownies, these recipes are usually written with the guise of “no one will ever know!” or my personal favorite, “I promise your guests will never be able to taste it!”
If you’re adding vegetables to your desserts, you shouldn’t have to mask the flavor. I think in this respect, we could take a few tips from our friend, the beloved Carrot Cake, which offers the clearest guide on how to get away with eating vegetables for dessert.
What makes Carrot Cake SO good?
So, what exactly makes Carrot Cake the one easily forgivable vegetable cake that is commonly served on holidays year round, birthdays, and if I may be bold enough to suggest, even marks the beginning of our spring calendar?
1. Cream Cheese Frosting. I think one of the crowning achievements of this classic recipe is the frosting. I can’t say I even enjoy cream cheese frosting on anything other than carrot cake. Another bold statement from me, but I’m a buttercream kind of gal when it comes to most cakes. There is something however, about a sweetly whipped cream cheese frosting paired with a cake that is speckled in shredded carrots and oozing with notes of citrus and warm spices that just works.
2. Add Ins. Let’s talk about the variations for a hot minute. You not only have carrots which have a natural sweetness, but then you have the cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla. Today’s recipe also has brown sugar which adds a extra richness to the flavor profile. I think what takes this dessert next level though, is the third layer of flavor which comes from the orange zest in the frosting. The oils of the orange is fragrant and brings a fresh note when kept in the frosting rather than baked into the cake. Other popular add-ins are pecans or walnuts, but because this cake is gluten-free and made with almond flour, I omitted the nuts.
3. Almond Flour. This brings us to our third reason as to why this cake is SO incredibly moist. It’s an unintentionally gluten-free cake. I feel that the almond flour works really well here with its subtle nuttiness without giving the cake a coarse texture. I also used vegetable oil which combined with the shredded carrots gives this dessert a consistency similar to that of a spongecake. It’s moist but not mushy or “too soft”.
Let them Eat Cake
…And enjoy it too knowing full well there is a generous amount of shredded carrots in there. I can make an argument that Carrot Cake is kind of a ‘health food’ but we’ll discuss that in a future post 😉 Until then, just enjoy dessert because life’s too short.
If You Enjoyed Today’s Recipe…
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