This is my grandmother's carrot cake recipe. My mom recently mailed me all my grandmother's recipe cards and I've been going through them and trying to decide what to make. This is the first one I've done - it was so hard to choose. :D
This carrot cake recipe stood out because I remember eating it as a kid around the holidays and I loooooooove carrot cake even more now as an adult, especially carrot cake with lots of yummy spices. According to the recipe card, my grandmother's original carrot cake didn't include any spices so I added cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger.
Step 1: Ingredients:
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup margarine or butter (I used Earth Balance margarine, but I think unsalted butter would be magical and rich)
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (I used pancake syrup, the fake stuff - that's what I gathered from what she wrote on the card)
- 3 cups shredded carrots (for me this took 6 carrots)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1-2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
You can change up the spices as you like as well - as long as you stay within the warm and sweet spices you'll be fine. Oh! And I think it would be amazing with a little molasses too - maybe 1/4 cup or so? Going to try it next time and see what happens.
Step 2: Shred the Carrots
If you have a food processor this will go super quick! It took me about five minutes to finish the carrot part. :D
Peel the carrots and trim the ends, and then grate with a food processor or on a box grater.
Six carrots was exactly 3 cups for me, but I would start with four carrots in case yours are bigger!
Step 3: Combine the Dry Ingredients and Cut in the Butter
Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, powder powder and spices in a large bowl. :)
Cut cold butter/margarine into cubes and cut it into the butter. You can use a fork or a pastry cutter - whatever you've got around.
You want to mix to look grainy at the end.
Step 4: Add the Wet Stuff!
Add the eggs, orange juice, and maple syrup. Mix until very well combined. This took me a couple minutes by hand!
Step 5: Add the Carrots and Bake!
Mix in the carrots - make sure they're evenly distributed.
Once that's done, line your baking pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Smooth it out and pop it in the oven at 350 F for 50-60 minutes.
Step 6: Yum Yum!
My carrot cake was done in 55 minutes. :D
Once a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean you know you're done. Let it cool for at least a half hour or so in the pan on a wire rack. You might want to let it cool even longer if you want to frost it. As you'll see mine was not cool enough!
Step 7: Frost and Serve!
Use the parchment paper to pop it out of the pan and get it ready to frost.
I frosted the carrot cake while it was still too warm with coconut oil frosting. It was delicious but very messy. :D