Saturday, February 6, 2010

Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake
I would say this cake recipe is healthy because it does what many cake recipes do not: encourage your kids to eat vegetables. I have a bunch of recipes like this, just easier ways for me to help my children eat healthier. My children also like to eat carrots raw, so I guess they would eat them anyway. I have a variation on this recipe that I used for my baby's birthday to make a very rich cake. There are two ways I like to frost this cake, one with the traditional cream cheese frosting, and the other where I melt butter on top and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously over the butter. The butter and cinnamon topping makes the cake healthier, because it uses far less sugar. It also makes this cake more suitable to for a breakfast treat which is what we did today. This recipe is adapted from one in the Joy of Gardening Cookbook.

Healthy Carrot Cake 

4 cups of grated carrots
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Blend dry ingredients together. If you want to take the time, feel free to run them through a sifter. Next add the eggs, oil and vanilla. Blend well and then add the carrots. Mix together and place in two greased 9 inch cake pans, 24 lined cupcake tins or a oiled 9 by 13 inch pan. Bake until done, this can be measured by inserting a clean knife or straw into the pan and having it come out clean. This will be about 30 minutes for the cupcakes, 45-50 minutes for the cake pans. It will smell very good when it is done because of all the spices. If you are going to frost with the butter and cinnamon sugar, spread the butter over the top of the cake while it is still hot. Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon into one cup of sugar to make the cinnamon sugar blend. It is also good on toast and spice cake.
A richer variation of this recipe calls for a substitution of 1/2 cup of ground sesame seeds for 1/2 cup of the flour  and of one cup of walnuts and 1/2 cup of raisins for 1 cup of grated carrots. Good stuff.

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