Fall spices and a lovely orange color make this easy cake a great weeknight dessert or tea-cake near Halloween and Thanksgiving. Just don't scare anyone by letting them know how healthy this unfrosted cake is, with carrots, ginger, whole grains, and no dairy or eggs. It's a nice break from the holiday excess yet still feels like a treat.
Active time: 25 minutes. Total time: 75 minutes. Yield: 12 servings. Dairy-free and vegan.
- 1 1/2 cups white whole whole wheat flour (180 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar (220 grams)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil or canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (75 grams)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup water
- shortening for the cake pan
- Heat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or an 8x8-inch pan.
- Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in brown sugar, using the back of a spoon to break up lumps if needed.
- Pour remaining ingredients into flour mixture and stir just until well combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top is firm and tiny air bubbles appear in the center as well as on the edges.
- Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to allow the structure to firm up. Serve straight from the pan while still warm or within a few hours if possible. Carrot Spice Cake keeps covered at room temperature for two or three days but becomes less light.
- For speedy baking: I use my food processor to mince the ginger and grate the carrots. Here's how: peel the ginger and cut crossways into thin slices. Put the stainless steel blade into your food processor, turn it on, and drop in the ginger slices through the feeding tube. Let the machine run until the ginger stops bouncing around. Replace the blade with a small-hole grater and grate the unpeeled carrots on top of the ginger.
- For fancy presentation: Line the greased cake pan with parchment paper and grease the paper before pouring in the batter. After the baked cake has cooled for 10 minutes, flip it over onto your clean hand or a plate, peel off parchment paper, and flip it onto a serving plate.