February 14, 2008

Carrot Cake


Chitra did it. I can safely put the blame on her this time. This woman had been chasing me for a carrot halwa recipe since the time her little one, D, turned one. I think I gave her some vague inputs as I had never attempted making anything close to a halwa in my life. Finally, she made it last week when her little one turned 18 months. I had other plans. I’ve been wanting to make use of carrots before they go out of season. Sunny days in Delhi can only mean that summer isn’t too far away. And that means that we’ll soon be back to gourds and potatoes and the colourful mandis and redis will have become a thing of the past. But as with everything else in life, I know that winter and spring shall return.

Carrots. I have always loved them. The only thing I haven’t done with them is make upkari. For some reason, I have never liked it. Amma didn’t make it and I had it once at a friend’s place and thought it wasn’t exactly worth it. I can eat carrots in pulao, in salads, in mixed vegetable stir fries, in soups, you get the picture, don’t you? But the upkari/poriyal/karumadu type of thing is just not my stick of carrot!

Carrots as dessert: I’ve always liked them. Carrot Halwa and Carrot Kheer. I haven’t ever attempted to make these. I’m not sure I will. But who knows. Much as I am not a kheer person, I quite liked carrot kheer the one time that I was served it. But the one thing I’ve been wanting to make for over 3 years now since the very first time I tasted it at Barista is the carrot cake. I’ve seen umpteen recipes for this cake. Many called for ingredients I didn’t have at hand. Many seemed unnecessarily complicated. Each of the four books that I acquired over the last few months has at least one recipe for carrot cake. I spent most of last evening poring over each book to come up with a recipe that combines just about all of them. The cake turned out really well and I’m over the moon.


1 ¼ cup Carrots, grated
½ cup Cashews, powdered
¼ cup Almonds, powdered
¾ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Oil
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
A pinch of Nutmeg Powder
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup Flour
2 ¼ tsp Baking Powder
¼ cup Raisins

To Decorate:

1 tbsp Icing Sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 400F (200 C).

Grease and flour/line an 8-inch cake tin.

In a bowl, beat the eggs until light. Add the sugar and oil and beat well. Add the carrots, almond and cashew powders and raisins.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and the cinnamon and nutmeg powders. Fold in the carrot-egg mixture and mix gently until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a knife/skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool. Sprinkle icing sugar over the cake using a small sieve.


My first attempt at making a carrot cake has been successful. I will probably try making a beet cake next. There’s ample time for all that.

I made this little cake to wish my friends S and R a very happy anniversary. And of course, this is also to wish all of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day! We cut it at midnight and relished it. This morning it was neatly cut into several portions to be distributed to friends.


amna said...

that looks yummy. i gotta try it!

Chitra said...

You are simply the best! Looks so yummy...Wish you & S a very happy valentine's day. Love ya & Hugs

Sia said...

first time i tasted carrot cake was when we were in switzerland and i fell in love with it. thanks for the recipe raaga. i am gonna make this for sure. i have to overcome my phobia for baking at least now!
wishing u a avery happy v-day:)

Archana Doshi said...

very nice, i make a similar one, but the only spice is cardamom - this was from a Canadian friend. Great pictures as well.

Kalai said...

Looks great! My version's a bit different, but this looks so moist and easy! Happy V-day! :)

Asha said...

Love the Carrot with Cream cheese frosting!! Looks great Raaga, we do a bit differently here. Happy V day to you!:))

Swaroopa said...

looks gr8! thanx 4 sharing...

Alpa said...

i luv your carrot cake :)

Finla said...

I love carrot cake.
It looks so good

evolvingtastes said...

Looks lovely! When I was reading how much you love carrots I could completely relate - carrots are my most favorite vegetable, and I can eat them any way too. Now I have a carrot cake bug, thanks to you Raaga.

Arundathi said...

Definitely gonna try this one - love carrots! But think I might omit the raisins - not much of a raisin person... Thanks Raaga

Suganya said...

Raaga, Next time try making this with cardamom instead of cinnamon. Tastes like a kheer cake :)

Aarti said...

Reminded me of the carrot cake we saw at Anokhi.. this most certainly looks better than that.. remember right, that one had some wierd thing on top... :D

SpicyTasty said...

Looks yumm yummy.Have to try it for sure...

Dhivya said...

wow..beautiful entry..looks yummy..will surely try...happy V day

Kribha said...

That looks so yummy especially with that powdered sugar on the top. Belated valentine's

Raaga said...

Thanks all of you. You raisin haters may feel free to omit the raisins :-)

And I will try the cardamom version too... thanks all of you.

Anonymous said...

Raaga - must say I really like your site. Very readable and yummy. Am planning to try out the first recipe - carrot cake, couple of clarifications: 1. 'flour' - maida? Can I use half maida and half aata?
2. Almond/cashew powder - I just bung in the nuts and powder them? coarse/ fine?
Thanks, Anjali

Raaga said...

@Anjali: Thanks for the nice words.

Flour = Maida

You could use half atta, the cake will not be as soft, but it will be healthier. :)

Just powder the nuts... coarse or fine depends on you... I had them like breadcrumbs... there, but not there :) I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raaga,
Tried out the cake - came out very yummy. I used 1/3 aata and 2/3 maida, but it was soft and moist; also kept the nuts large-crumb sized, as I like crunch when I munch. Thanks a lot.
Beetroot cake, here I come!
Best wishes, Anjali

Anjali said...

OK, am making the cake again, and I have a 'baking for dummies' question.
I have one small oven. Can I make a lot of batter, and bake one cake after another?
Thanks much,

Raaga said...

You could... but the baking powder usually begins to react as soon as you mix it with a wet ingredient. I've done this huge batter thing before and I don't mind... but its not the best type of cake to have I'm told.