Whenever we eat out, my younger daughter without fail orders carrot cake. She claims it’s her favorite dessert, but I’ve sampled enough nearly naked cakes to know she’s really just after the frosting. From this ongoing experience, I’ve also concluded that most of these “carrot” cakes contain little – if any – visible, taste-able, or otherwise discernible semblance of carrot. Instead they’re mostly spice cake with mildly flavored frosting and some type of carrot emblem on top. I’m not a snob, but I know what puts the CARROT in carrot cake. Fortunately, I have an absolutely amazing family recipe to share. This carrot cake is the real meal deal; dense and moist, with a sweet maple buttercream frosting. I couldn’t skip the cream cheese altogether, so I’ve added just a smidgen. Don’t be alarmed; although the taste is authentic, it’s still completely low sodium. You’re welcome.
SODIUM CONTENT: 43.2 mg per serving
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
4 t. Ener-G sodium-free baking soda (sold online at healthyheartmarket.com)
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 c. vegetable oil
4 c. shredded carrot (about 8 carrots)
2/3 c. chopped walnuts
4 c. powdered sugar
4 T. unsalted butter, softened
3 T. pure maple syrup
3 T. milk
1 oz. cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
Measure the flour, sugar, baking soda and spices into a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Break the eggs into another mixing bowl. Beat until frothy, then slowly beat oil into the eggs. Gradually add the egg mixture into the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Add the carrot and walnuts and mix well.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Place pans on the middle rack in the oven and bake 45 minutes, until tester inserted in center of cake comes clean. Remove pans from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool cakes fully before removing from pans.
To make the frosting, measure the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy. Frost cake as desired. Serve immediately.