Fluffy carrot cake - a light & healthier version
Baking doesn't come naturally to me as I didn't quite grow up with a lot of baking going on at home. Mom made some really nice cakes when we were in kindergarten, but all that moving around probably never encouraged her to buy an oven and carry it around everywhere. We lived with a simple set of kitchen appliance, and enjoyed all the good things over our dining table made with a humble gas stove. Also, generally speaking we have so much diversity going on in the kitchen, who cared about a cake back then?! Dad bought us a microwave once we were in Bhubaneswar, and I used that to try my luck with baking cakes, but never successful. We have a few classic family stories, thanks to my epic failures with baking. All this made it really hard for me to pick up baking once I had a good oven at my home. I still spend a good number of days reading up a zillion versions of any recipe that comes out of the oven, understanding the science behind what goes on, and only then can I gather the courage to bake. I envy those who can just casually add ingredients and come up with the best flavours that there are!
I have been thinking about baking a carrot cake for a while. I love the flavours that go into a good carrot cake, and enjoyed it back in India with friends when we went by to a cafe that served one. Yesterday we had quite some discussion about where carrot cake originates from with several claims, and the truth somewhere between the UK and mainland Europe. Regardless of where it comes from, what really unites a truly original carrot cake is that amazing frosting on top, the crumbly texture of the cake itself, Christmas flavours of cinnamon and the nuts inside. While baking a carrot cake with a traditional recipe leads to pure joy that cannot be substituted, this weekend I felt like working out a healthier version that allows us to enjoy a carrot cake more regularly. I worked with a few substitutes - whole wheat flour instead of the white one, olive oil instead of butter, and reduced the amount of eggs and increased the amount of carrot that goes into it.
The resulting cakes (I baked 2 loaves) were amazing! They were light, fluffy, and airy - with great much with every bite because of the carrots. Of course this version is less sweeter than the original, and so feel free to add more sugar based on your preference. I didn't add any nuts or raisins (oops, I forgot!) but should you try this recipe, please do add a generous helping of crushed nuts and raisins along. Also, let me know how you liked it!
Time to prepare: 15 minutes
Time to cook: 35 minutes
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 1/2 inch ginger, grated
- 1 orange juiced (1/2 cup of juice)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven at 200 Degrees Celsius
- In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (1-6) and whisk until they combine well.
- In a cup, mix all the wet ingredients (9-12)
- Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine well. Add the carrot and ginger.
- Divide the cake mix into 2 small tins, and bake at 175 degrees celsius for 35 minutes - the first 20 minutes covered, and the last 15 without the cover. I usually place a sheet of aluminium foil on top
- Insert a toothpick through the centre of the cake and if it comes out dry, the cake is done!
- Bon apetit!