Super (Un) Healthy Carrot Cake

I love baking the same thing twice. First version: go completely crazy, don’t be shy with the sugar and the oil and the toppings. Second version: healthy sister. So that’s what I did with these carrot cakes. It was my birthday the 18th of November and I invited a small group of friends over for dinner. (Yeah, small group, not really my style, but I hardly have enough room to host more than two friends!) Of course, they had high anticipations of the dessert, knowing me and my baking quite well.

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So there you have it. The biggest cake I have ever baked! These 3 layers took me forever, because I only have one 8 inch cake pan. I had to bake the layers in turns and wait for them to cool properly before removing them from the pan. So yeah, if you want to spend your whole day baking a birthday cake (I seriously don’t mind; I love it), just go ahead. Otherwise just shove multiple cake pans in the oven at the same time!

This carrot cake was everything you guys, but I have to be honest: the white chocolate butter cream really made this a winner for me. I remember the first time I attempted to make butter cream. It was a complete disaster and I didn’t dare try it again. Until now! I finally felt confident enough to try again, and boy am I happy that I did.

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Did I mention the middle layer is actually not carrot cake but courgette cake? I am such a big fan of using courgette in my baking, because it adds incredible moisture. Maybe you read my post on my gingerbread courgette loaf a while back, in which I talked about it a bit as well. The middle layer of this cake was so dense! It gave the carrot cake a special twist. Recipe time!


Super Unhealthy Birthday Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Butter Cream

3 layers serves 16 people – ingredients are for 1 layer of cake

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs room temp
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (either homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cup grated carrot OR grated courgette
  • ¼ chopped walnuts

Making this batter is as easy as pie (pun intended). Just combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix well to combine. Then add the two together and beat thoroughly until everything is incorporated. Fold in either the grated carrot or courgette and the walnuts. Transfer the cake batter to an 8 inch (20 cm) non-stick cake tin with removable bottom. Bake each layer for 30 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. Always do the toothpick test to check if the cake is done!

White Chocolate Butter Cream

  • 500 gr cream cheese (room temp)
  • 250 gr butter (room temp)
  • fresh vanilla beans of 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 200 gr melted white chocolate

Your ingredients should really be at room temperature, otherwise it will be impossible to mix everything properly. Start by melting the white chocolate either au bain marie or in the microwave in 15 second intervals. Set aside to cool. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Let the butter cream cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it in your cake, otherwise it will be too runny.

A tip on building up your cake: make sure the layers are flat! Use a sharp knife to cut off just a bit of the top of the cake so the surface is super straight. That way, stacking the layers will be a lot easier, and your cake won’t tilt over in any direction.


 

For those of you that are still with me after that amount of sugar and fat: do not despair. I am here for you health freaks too. You see, I had some left over carrots the next day and started to wonder: would this cake be just as good if I tried to eliminate all the unhealthy ingredients? Well, the answer is no, it’s not. But it’s still very good as a breakfast cake!

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I just made one layer of this cake, because unfortunately, I had no friends visiting me for breakfast who I could share with! Basically, what I did was cut out all the oil and sugar and replaced that for Greek yoghurt and raisins. Also, I used oat flour instead of plain all-purpose flour. I have to say just the raisins did not satisfy my sweet tooth enough, so I just went ahead and topped my piece of cake with some agave syrup and powdered sugar.

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I would love to hear if you guys know any great ways to add sweetness to your cake without using sugar! Maybe it would be a good idea to add a mashed overripe banana? Let me know if you try that.


Super Healthy Carrot Cake

Serves 8 – ingredients are for 1 layer of cake

  • 1 ½ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup ground walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup homemade unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup raisins

To make the batter for this healthy carrot cake, just do the exact same thing as with the unhealthy one. Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then add together and mix thoroughly before folding in the carrot and raisins.

You can use either store bought oat flour, or if you have a kitchen processor, make your own by adding some whole grain oat flakes and pulsing them a few times until they become a fine, flour like texture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes on 175 degrees Celsius. Top off with some oat flakes!


 

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Bon appétit!

Love,

Tori

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bakingstori

I'm a wannabe chef from Amsterdam currently living in London. I study linguistics and neuroscience but in my free time I mostly don't study chemical reactions in brains but... in my oven!

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