It’s dessert time again. Today’s dessert is carrot cake, perfect for using up the last of your winter carrot crop. This rich cake is loaded with fresh carrots for good health, and apple sauce and buttermilk bring moisture without fat to the crumb. Neufchatel cheese for the cream-cheese frosting gives all the flavor of traditional carrot cake without quite as many calories. I also made this cake for today’s smaller families, in a 6-cup pyrex dish, about 6 inches by 8 inches at the widest point. You could easily use a standard 2-quart Corning casserole dish if you have that instead. And, as always, you can get all of these ingredients in organic form.
Cake ingredients and method
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 whole-grain oat flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 1/3 cup buttermilk of kefir
- 1 cup sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Mix together the first four (dry) ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl. Now combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, starting by beating the eggs and then adding in the other ingredients, including the carrots. Now stir in the dry ingredients and finally the walnuts. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 55 minutes. If you use a toaster oven, reduce heat to 325 degrees, set the pan on a broiler liner on the lowest rack setting, and put a sheet of foil over the top, flat (not fitted). Let the cake cool thoroughly before frosting it.
Frosting ingredients and method
- 2-3 tablespoons real butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces neufchatel cream cheese (naturally lower fat), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or a dash more!)
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla. Gradually beat in the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Spread it on the cooled cake. Let the kids lick the bowl.
What’s your favorite way to sneak veggies into your family’s food?
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