Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor
or other to be a deadly poison, and everything
I don’t eat has been proved to be
indispensable for life. But I go marching on.
~George Bernard Shaw
Recipe Source: Cake adapted from my friend Lori’s college friend, Kristen
Frosting adapted from allrecipes.com
I’m a big fan of sweets – really. Sweets of all kinds, especially bready ones like cakes. But I’ve never really been a fan of carrot cake. I often find it a little dense and oily, and the frosting is entirely too sweet. But this recipe I got from one of my best friends, whose taste I trust, and who famously made this cake without carrots once, by accident. She assured me that even then, the cake turned out delicious! So with a review like that, I had to try it.
I’ve made this cake four times now, always for a crowd, and I think I’ve perfected it. The taste has always been wonderful, but originally, it called for 1 1/2 cups of oil. I lined my pan with wax paper to make the cake easier to remove, and the oil seeped around and under the paper, it was so oily. So I worked to cut down the oil each time, first using half oil and half plain applesauce (3/4 cups each), then cutting the oil down to 1/2 cup, with 3/4 cups applesauce. And eureka – it’s wonderful!
This cake comes out tall and spongy. It’s still super moist from all the carrots, and their flavor shines without the thick masking taste of the oil. The applesauce lends a bit of sweetness as well. Then I add in a little allspice to play with the cinnamon, since I top the cake with an allspice cream cheese frosting. I always cut the powdered sugar in half from the original frosting recipe, which makes it a tiny bit runnier than, say, a buttercream, but it’s loads better for you. Of course this cake is still far from diet food, but it weighs a little less heavy on my conscience with these adjustments! (bad puns, I shamefully admit, are fully intended)
RECIPE – Supermoist Carrot Cake with Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 cups (1 lb) grated carrots
Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Make the cake
Mix sugar, oil and applesauce, and beat, adding 1 egg at a time. Mix till fluffy.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a separate bowl.
Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
Add carrots and mix well.
Bake in ungreased 9×13 pan (or two 10” rounds) at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Let cool.
Make the frosting
In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter, and allspice.
Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk until the mixture is spreadable.
Optional: sprinkle frosted cake with chopped walnuts.