There are many versions of carrot cake circulating around kitchens in the United States. Everyone has their favorite, whether by taste, texture or a family tradition.
Carrot cake has a dense texture and often has a delectable blend of flavors including pineapple, raisins, coconut and nuts. Most often, carrot cake is topped with a smooth, rich cream cheese frosting that adds a delectable sweetness to the dessert.
The Sweet History of Carrot Cake
The original dessert of medieval times was a steamed carrot pudding, which had a cake-like texture and later evolved into a true carrot cake.
The natural sweetness and easy availability of carrots has made them a longtime choice of ingredients for baking. When sugar was both scarce and expensive during medieval times and on into the era of the Second World War, carrots were used to fill the sweetening void. Carrots are the single sweetest vegetable, next to sugar beets.
Carrot cake became popular in the United States in the 1960s. It became so that the American-created Food Network named carrot cake, with the now traditional cream cheese frosting, as number five on the list of the top five fad food in the 1970s.
Carrot cake has become so trendy that an unofficial annual holiday is declared in its honor in the United States. The day after Groundhog’s Day, the beginning of February, is National Carrot Cake Day in the U.S.
Health-conscious people feel that they can justify carrot cake because of the nutritious ingredients including the carrots, pineapple, raisins, coconut and nuts.
The True Flavor of Carrot Cake
Carrot cake mimics the flavor of spice cake, not a plate full of vegetables. The unlimited variations of flavor include such add-ins as:
· Nuts, either walnuts or pecans or not nuts at all
The rich brown cake is usually somewhat chunky in nature because of the coarsely chopped add-ins. Most recipes call for the carrots to be shredded, not mashed or pureed, which helps to maintain the chunky richness.
The Best Carrot Cake Recipe Ever
This delectable cake and frosting combination is a classic recipe for a timeless dessert.
· 2 cups granulated sugar
· 1 cup canola oil
· 4 eggs
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 3 cups grated carrots, about 5 large carrots
· 1 cup chopped walnuts
1. In a large bowl, mix together sugar and oil.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Fold in flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Beat together for 1 minute.
4. Fold in carrots and nuts.
5. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
6. Bake in 300° oven for 1 hour. Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing.
Cream cheese frosting
· 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
· 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
· 1 package (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Blend well.
3. Frost cake when completely cool.
Carrot cake is a wonderful dessert for a family meal, a holiday celebration or even a healthy breakfast when it is substituted for an otherwise boring breakfast muffin.
Emily Watson is a professional blogger that spezializes in food, cooking and recipes. She writes for Just A pinch, an online cookbook where you can find all recipes from a guacamole recipe to a recipe for carrot cake.