I remember thinking that carrot cake was disgusting when I was younger. But that was because I had never had it and the idea of carrots in cake was absolutely ridiculous. Vegetables in sweets? Get out of here!
Luckily, my mind was changed by my brother’s former roommate. Professional slacker turned professional patissier, he brought us a beautiful carrot cake on my dad’s birthday, complete with “Happy Birthday” piped out in neat script. Ever since then, I’ve been sold on carrot cake.
I haven’t actually made any myself before, but Joy the Baker, whom I absolutely adore, recently did a post on carrot cake herself. I hope it doesn’t become a habit of me copying her latest post, but this time I couldn’t help it! It looked so good!
Now the recipe on Joy’s blog looked absolutely delicious, but I’m into no-nonsense baking, and her recipe had too many ingredients to deal with. (Actually, this is me masking my laziness with an appropriate excuse.)
The most intensive part of any carrot cake recipe is grating the carrots – it’s times like these I wish I had the peeler/grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid! I loved eating raw carrots as a kid though, so it was hard to grate these without munching on a good portion of them.
I pulled my recipe from the 1989 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book ($3 at the Goodwill!). I love this book in particular because it has about a bajillion recipes and most of them require ingredients that I always have on hand.
I didn’t have cream cheese though, so instead I soaked the cupcakes with a lemon simple syrup. It gave the cake more moisture and sweetness, which was lacking due to the absence of frosting.
Carrot Cake | New Cook Book c.1989
- 2 c. All-purpose flour
- 2 c. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 3 c. Finely shredded carrot (about 5 medium carrots, or 3 large)
- 1 c. Cooking oil
- 4 eggs
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add carrot, oil, and eggs. Mix until combined.
Pour into 2 greased and floured 9×1.5 inch round baking pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans.
Lemon Simple Syrup
Juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar
Bring ingredients to a boil in a small pot. Let simmer for about a minute, then remove from heat.
Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes into the cake. Pour or brush the syrup over the top of the cake and let sit until it soaks in.