Carrot cake

Large, naked raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who lie in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter. ~Fran Lebowitz

For anyone, who is not too big of a fan of big, creamy, heavy and frosted cakes, this one is a perfect choice for the Christmas table. And there’s always an option to add some frosting on the side to be served for the sweets lovers. I studied several carrot cake recipes and decided to go with a bit of everything, creating my own mix, yet not stepping too far from what the recipe books offer.

Unless it’s my flour less chocolate cake, I almost always cut down on sugar. In this case I also skipped the frosting part. The cake is so moist and has so many textures, the creamy layer on top seemed so unnecessary!

* 2 cups of flour
* 1 – 1,5 cups sugar
* 1,5 cups of oil (almost any kind of oil, but olive oil would not do – I used canola)
* 4 eggs
* 3-4 grated large carrots
* 1,5 cups hazelnuts (I personally prefer them better than walnuts)
* 0,5-1 cup prunes
* 1 teaspoon ginger powder
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking powder

Heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Whenever it comes to using nuts for any kind of dessert, unless it specifically states otherwise, I always toast the nuts in the oven, at 180 degrees, until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven to cool them down and chop them, but not too finely – you will be rewarded with larger chunks of nuts when indulging in cake.

In the meantime, prepare the pan (mine was springform pan, 27 cm diameter). Cover the bottom with cut out form of baking paper, sprinkle with some oil.

Beat the oil with sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time until well incorporated. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add sifted dry ingredients to beaten oil, sugar and egg and mix well using a large spoon or spatula. Add the remaining ingredients – grated carrots, chopped prunes, ginger and nuts. Pour into the pan and bake until ready. Most recipes suggested baking for 30-40 minutes. Mine took about 50 minutes. Maybe because I added so much more carrots than any recipe suggested. Anyways, check on your cake during the baking – stick a wooden pick until it comes out clean.I love this cake, because it is very easy to make, it is not too heavy, but with this combination of ingredients, it is very rewarding in flavor and thanks to oil is super moist.

Oh and home smells so heavenly! Especially before Christmas!

Bon appetit and Merry Christmas!

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