Layerd Confetti Carrot Cake with Creamy Beet-Kissed Frosting

April 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

Purple haze carrots straight from URI’s agronomy farm, served to you in the best way carrots can be served: Carrot Cake.This recipe is actually from about a month ago, but I’m just now putting it on thanks to my good friend Cate, a fellow Slow Food member & food enthusiast. Her post, Taste the Rainbow, reminded me to share this cake recipe.

Anyone who knows me well is probably aware that I adore carrots. If you didn’t know, I love them so much that my hands have turned slightly- yes, I’ll say it, orange- which is better than purple! And guess what, it looks like things are working out in my favor.  I was just reading an interesting study from the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior about these little guys. According to this study people prefer the skin hue of those who ate vegetables high in beta-carotene to those who had a suntan. Hmmm…

Okay, here’s the good part!

Layered Carrot Cake:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp of baking soda, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp fine grain sea salt, 1 1/2 cups organic canola oil, 4 large eggs, 4 cups of shredded carrot, 2 tsp alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract, 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup toasted* pecans, 1/2 cup chopped** medjool dates

*To toast pecans, set on a baking sheet. Let toast in the oven, on 325 for about 10 minutes, or until aromatic and crunchy.

** Although you can find pre-chopped dates, buying the whole Medjool dates, rolling them in a bit of flour to prevent any sticking & chopping them yourself, is guaranteed to yield a much richer, more satisfying final product.

Frosting:

8 oz organic cream cheese, 1 cup confectionery sugar, 1 Tbsp beet juice*, 2 tsp alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract, carrot shavings & pecans, optional for garnish

*If you must use canned beets to get the juice, go for it. BUT I recommend just roasting fresh beets, then you have them to eat as well. If you decide to roast them, collect the beet juice from the container beets are in when they are cooling.  See, Maybe they are candy in disguise: Roasted Beets (coming soon).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans by spraying with olive oil & dusting with flour or by lining the bottom of pans with parchment paper.

Wash and peel carrots. Cut into cubes & process in the food processor until they are confetti-like shavings. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon & salt in bowl, mix well.
In a separate, larger, mixing bowl beat together oil and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs & beat until smooth. Mix in carrots & vanilla. Add dry ingredients & mix until they have fully melded together. Fold in nuts, fruit & coconut. Pour evenly into baking pans.
Bake for 25-35 minutes rotating pans half way through baking time to ensure an even bake.  When they are finished, let cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn onto baking rack & allow to fully cool before frosting.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese & sugar until fluffy. Add the rest of ingredients & continue to beat until smooth.

By the way, a scoop of ginger ice cream makes a great addition to this colorful cake. Enjoy!

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