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Carrot Orange Spice Quick-Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into dry measuring cup and level to top
2 1/2 teaspoons Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk, well shaken; measure in glass measuring cup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups (about 3 large) finely shredded carrots; shred carrots using the small holes on a grater, then measure
1 tablespoon orange peel (from 1 orange)
Serve with Whipped Cream and Fruit

Instructions:

1. Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare tube pan WITH REMOVABLE BOTTOM; for this cake spray generously with vegetable oil spray or grease with shortening or butter and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, add vanilla to buttermilk and combine. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on low speed with a paddle attachment until softened. Add the granulated sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes until light in color and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl often.
4. With the mixer on low, add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time and beat 20 seconds after each addition or until the mixture is smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl often. With the mixer still on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Batter will be thick and fluffy. Stop the mixer and pour in the carrots and the orange peel. With the mixer on low quickly incorporate the ingredients until just mixed; it should take no longer than 3 to 5 seconds. Scrape the batter into the tube pan and lightly smooth the top.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the cake is a deep golden brown in color. It is normal for the top to develop deep cracks. The cake is done when you insert a long skewer halfway between the side of the pan and the central tube and remove. It should emerge with a few moist crumbs attached rather than batter. The cake should also feel firm and give slightly when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
6. Remove the pan from the oven to a wire cake rack, let cake cool in the pan.

To un-mold: To loosen cooled cake, run a sharp, thin knife around the cake's edges, scraping against the pan rather than the cake. Lift out central tube and bottom holding the cake from the outer ring. Run a knife under the cake and the pan bottom, scraping against the pan. Carefully hold the cake on the bottom and let the flat bottom and central tube fall away while you place the on a flat serving platter without causing the cake to crack.

To serve: Use a sharp knife to cut the cake; cake will crumble if you use a dull or serrated knife. Serve with whipped cream or fresh fruit. This is a moist cake: do not drizzle cake with a thin confectioners' glaze as it becomes too damp.
Storage: Cake stores well at room temperature for 2 to 3 days wrapped in plastic wrap. It can be frozen for up to 3 months covered with an extra layer of foil and placed in a resealable jumbo-size plastic bag. Defrost the cake, in its wrapping, overnight at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours

Recipe: by Sarah Phillips
copyright Sarah Phillips, 2004

Comments:

This makes a wonderful all-purpose party cake for casual dining and as an every day snack cake. I worked hard to make it moist and flavorful since many creamed cakes with a cake-like, tender texture and shredded vegetables tend to be dry. It works best baked in a tube pan with a removable bottom, not an intricately designed decorative Bundt® pan because this cake is very moist and won't un-mold easily in one piece. Expect the top of the cake to crack and be uneven, which is typical in these types of cakes because of the proportion of ingredients used.