Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carrot Cake

My all time favorite cake is carrot cake (or cheesecake- if that counts as cake then it's a tie)!  Since it was my birthday I decided I would make myself a healthy birthday cake- that way we can really enjoy it.  I wanted my cake to also have the benefits of "soaking" to make it even healthier.  I searched & searched real food blogs, but no soaked carrot cake was to be found.  The closest I could find was this recipe for Election Cake (which I had never heard of- and I had also never heard of using yeast in a cake).  Later I googled it & found this information about it's history.

Even though there was no picture of the cake, it had molasses, spices, and dried fruit.  I figured I could sub out the dried fruit for carrots and give it a try.  Pretty brave of me I think!  I ended up adding quite a few things, and I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but we've decided it's pretty good.  Here's what I ended up with:

Carrot Cake
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

12 to 24 hours ahead of time combine flour & buttermilk, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature.  Mixture will be a little dry.

8 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 packets yeast
1/2 lb. butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sucanat or turbinado sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 T. cinnamon
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded carrots (about 3)
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. raisins

The morning after you've soaked the flour: drain pineapple juice into (glass) measuring cup & add enough water to equal 2/3 cup.  Warm gently to about 110 degrees (do not boil- you can place the measuring cup in a pot of water on the stove to warm it).  Remove from heat, stir in yeast & allow to sit for several minutes.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together at high speed until creamy.  Add molasses and eggs and continue to beat.
Mix the flour mixture into the egg & butter mixture one cup at a time.  Then add the yeast mixture, spices, and salt and mix thoroughly until a thick-cake like batter forms.  Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut, pecans and raisins.
Pour batter into pans (one 9x13 or 2 round cake pans) that have been oiled & floured or lined with parchment paper (that's what I did).  Make sure you account for the fact that this cake is going to rise!  Leave in a warm place for several hours or until doubled in bulk (it sure did)!  Wow- that's a lot of cake!
Pre-heat oven to 375 & bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean (mine baked for closer to an hour & it was over cooked).  Check half way through bake time- if top is browning too fast then cover with foil.  Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minues in pan, then transfer to cooling rack. 

This may be more dense than your cake usually is (more like the density of a fruitcake), but it is still tasty.  I found it paired perfectly with Wardeh's vanilla coconut cream frosting.  Right now Tropical Traditions has their coconut cream on sale: buy one, get one free!  If you're thinking about buying some (use some for frosting and some for fudge) and it's your first time, you can use my referral number 5997607 to get a free book about coconut oil.  I've been reading it & it's full of amazing testimonials. 


This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays.


  1. Thanks for the recipe. I will have to give it a try sometime

  2. @ Michelle & Lorrie- thanks & hope you like it :)


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