One of my favorite root vegetables is carrot. I love carrot in my soups, drinks (carrot juice), so it’s no surprise that I love carrot cake, even though the idea of adding carrots to a cake is somewhat bizarre, but carrot cake is a good cake. My contributor Pick Yin at Life is Great is here to share her carrot cake recipe, topped with a rich and decadent maple cream cheese frosting. Just the name alone is mouthwatering enough. Check it out!
Carrot cake…who knew I’d love it?
When I first announced to Vijay that I’d make some soon, he asked “The white one or the black one?” – referring to the Chinese fried radish cake rather than this baked cake frosted with cream cheese. He knew I’m not that girl who’d put a root vegetable and a cake together and I’d sooner turn a bunch of carrots into a pot of soup before considering them in a healthy dessert…
However, with more than a handful of friends professing themselves as carrot cake fans and Bee listing it as something she’d like to see featured here, it was imminent that I’d be baking one and eating some. There’s a first time for everything in life, so with not much reference or recommended recipes to fall on, I studied a few recipes and adapted what I thought were the best elements from each to come up with a carrot cake I really didn’t want to share.
The base recipe is from no other than my favorite celebration cake lady. Deb’s cakes had never failed me. I wanted a smooth crumbed cake—no chunky bits of nuts or fruits in my cake, please—one that’s packed with flavor, yet moist and preferably melt in my mouth, along with an exceptional frosting. I was pleased that my adaptation worked out really well. It took some will power on my behalf to refrain from cutting into the cake layers as they cooled. I resorted to snacking on what little crumbs that were falling off the cooling racks instead.
Carrot cake die-hards would each have their own favorites but the best thing about this carrot cake is you can alter it to your preference. Don’t like pineapples? Use some apple sauce instead. George Calombaris’s mother used apricot jam in hers. You won’t really taste any of the fruit but the flavor and texture of the cake would be greatly improved. Don’t have walnuts? Use pecans, macadamias or even cashews.
There isn’t really a recipe set in stone when it comes to a carrot cake. There’s only a favorite. I hope this version of mine would be yours too.