What do you do with leftover cranberry sauce after the turkey is gone? Cranberry sauce…
Carrot cake recipes are usually heavy on the oil. This cake has no added fat and is lightened by whipping whole eggs and sugar into a froth, then gently folding in the rest of the ingredients. It’s simple, it’s light, it’s spicy just like carrot cake, and no dairy or added fat! It can be made gluten free too.
I usually avoid baking cakes that call for whipping egg whites separate from the yolks, it’s too much work! (though I’ll make exception for egg whites in my favorite angel food cake recipe by baking expert Flo Braker, whom I dearly miss). I nearly passed up this recipe for carrot cake that my daughter Ariel bakes from a German recipe for ‘Karotten Kuchen ohne Butter”, or Carrot Cake without Butter. I adapted her recipe to whip whole eggs instead of separating the eggs, and think it great. Both methods work, but I’ll stick with the one-step whip.
A reader asked if it works in a bundt pan. I tested and it’s perfect! I found the bundt pan turns out best if buttered generously with melted butter, then dusted with flour. Now I always use this method.
I like finishing the cake with a lemon glaze
and it is also lovely with a dusting of powdered sugar just before serving.
Or if you’re not dairy/fat free, then slather the top with cream cheese frosting!
Carrot Cake Redux
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, see note for gluten free 180g/6.25oz.
- 1-1/2 cups almond meal (not almond flour) 120g/4.25oz.
- 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 large eggs, room temp or place eggs in a bowl of hot water for 15-20 minutes before cracking
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 180g/6oz.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots, lightly packed 250g/9oz.
- 1/2 cup golden or natural raisins 80g/2-3/4oz.
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- powdered sugar, lemon glaze or cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare choice of pan as follows: Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease sides of pan. If pan is non-stick you can omit paper and greasing, but it will come out of the pan easier if greased. You can use a regular cake pan, but the pan needs to be at least 4-inches in height. Could also use two standard 9-inch rounds and reduce the bake time. For a 10-12 cup size bundt pan, brush generously with about 2 tablespoons melted butter, allowing butter to congeal as you brush. Dust pan with a few tablespoons flour.
- Measure flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a bowl; whisk well, breaking up any lumps.
- Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer with whisk attachment) until very light and fluffy, and at least triple in volume. This will take 3-5 minutes.
- Fold half the flour mixture, then the carrots, then the remaining flour into the eggs. Gently mix in walnuts and raisins. Batter volume will reduce. Turn into prepared choice of pan.
- Bake bundt or 9-inch spring-form for 35-45 minutes (two 9-inch cake pans 18-22min) until center is set and a pick inserted in center comes out clean. I found just 2-3 minutes makes a difference between over and under-baked, so watch carefully. Usually 40 minutes seemed right for the bundt and spring form pans, but ovens vary.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove pan sides or turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Drizzle cake with glaze or dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Cake is best served within 2 days. Store well-covered to prevent drying.
- Lemon Glaze: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and 4-5 teaspoons lemon juice until smooth and pourable but not too thin. Pour over cake. Let stand for glaze to set before slicing.
- Use ground almonds not almond flour. I usually buy the Trader Joe’s brand.
- If you are planning to make the lemon glaze, zest the rind first and add to the cake if you like.
- For gluten free, substitute 180gr gluten free flour blend and increase almond meal to 1-3/4 cups/140grams.
- Home-made GF blend for this recipe: 100g brown rice flour, 40g oat flour, 40g sorghum flour plus 1/4tsp xanthan powder.