It finally feels like spring has arrived here on Nantucket. A perfect excuse to make a spring carrot cake. (Like I needed an excuse.) Carrot cake has always been a favorite in our house. I mean, fluffy layers of moist spiced cake with tangy cream cheese frosting will kinda do that to you. Its hard to eat just one slice and it’s always gone by the next day.
What Makes a Good Carrot Cake
A good carrot cake should be fluffy, tender and moist and full of flavor from aromatic spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Shredded carrots of course give this cake its tender moist crumb, which gets even better the next day. I’ve used coconut milk in the past but it creates a very rich cake, so I lightened this version up by using soy milk instead (almond or oat milks would be good alternatives as well). Adding orange zest brings out the flavors of the spices and adds a bright citrus note. I love chopped walnuts in carrot cake but left them out because our little guy has a nut sensitivity, though I highly recommend adding them to the batter if you eat nuts.
Fun with Frosting
The cream cheese frosting is so simple and can be made quickly in a food processor. If you don’t have a vegan cream cheese you like (I’ve only found one available here that is ok) try using thick Greek-style coconut yogurt instead. You may have to add a bit more powdered sugar to get a nice thick frosting consistency if using coconut yogurt, but it’s very tasty. I added some powdered bright orange algae called Dunaliella Salina, which is super high in beta-carotene, to create the orange-hued frosting. It has slight taste of citric acid, kind of like a vitamin C tablet would, and didn’t affect the flavor of the cake negatively at all. I decorated the top with edible violas from our garden and some fancy natural sprinkles I’ve been hoarding.
New Oven Love
It’s such a treat to bake in my new Bluestar RNB series range in custom pigeon blue with copper knobs and trim from AJ Madison. I feel like I need to give her a name, I mean she’s kinda like a member of the family now. Yes, I’m weird like that. Any suggestions? The extra large oven interior of the 36″ range fits a standard half sheet pan which is ahhhmazing when your roasting all the things. I haven’t used the convection fan setting yet, but the standard bake setting has been keeping accurate temperature and preheats quickly. This carrot cake is the first layer cake to come out of this blue beauty and I know it’s one that will be made many times over. I baked pavlovas in the oven for Easter and although they cracked, which I think was do to 100% humidity that day, they came out beautifully and were a huge hit. Looking forward to my next bake!
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