Friday, March 09, 2007

Fabulous Carroty Cake

There is an incredible aroma wafting through my apartment right now.

It smells of orange, and Vietnamese cinnamon, toasted coconut, toasted pecans, and a little carrot. It smells like cake.

These are good smells.

My friend, who just had a her first baby a couple of weeks ago, is also celebrating her birthday today! She asked for a gluten-free carrot cake, and that's what is smelling so yummy right now. I mean, how can the ECL say no. Especially when it's her day off and she doesn't have much else to do.


March 8, 2007
Name of cake: Fabulous Carroty Cake
Occasion: New Baby! Happy Birthday!
Constituents: GF Carrot-Pecan Cake from 3 Bowls with Kick-Ass Cream Cheese Frosting

I am kind of tired and feeling uninspired. So please forgive me if this post is boring and lame.

I mean, I'm really not feeling it tonight. Sigh. Here's the recipe.
GF Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cake
based on the CPCC in the book 3 Bowls by Seppo Ed Farrey
If you are a frequent reader, you will remember that I had a GF flour mix mishap. I am thinking that is the reason why the Oscar Cupcakes fell--too much cornstarch. The original carrot cake recipe calls for 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup of toasted wheat germ. So I decided to use one cup of the ECL GF flour mishap and 1.75 cups of brown rice flour. And the cake didn't fall! Hooray!

I suppose if you had a GF flour mix that you didn't mishap, you could probably do the same thing: use your flour mix for 1 cup of the cake and use brown rice flour for the other 1.75 cups. Or, you could just use your GF mix and omit the brown rice flour.
  • 1 cup ECL GF flour mishap
  • 2 3/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 1/2 cups packed grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded unsweetened coconut
Actually, I used the regular ol' sweetened shredded coconut that I toasted in a heavy bottomed pan. I guess that doesn't make this cake truly sugar-free.

toasted coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, or two 9-inch cake rounds.
We opted for two 9 inch rounds, because the ratio of frosting to cake is better.
2. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Combine the applesauce, honey, and maple syrup with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, beat until frothy. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and beat.

4.Stir the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture just until thoroughly blended.
I totally ignored the part about just until thoroughly blended and I beat the crap out of the batter until I was satisfied it was well aerated.

GF carrot cake!
well aerated batter = nicely risen cake

Had this batter been made with glutinous flours it probably would have been best to just barely mix it, but since we are dealing with flour with no real reason to stick together, I say beat it! Beat it!!!
4. (con't) Fold in the carrots, pecans, and coconut.

5. Scrape the batter into the well greased pans of your choosing and level the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan(s) on a cooling rack; turn out and let cool completely on the rack. Frost and eat.
The cake was awesome. First off, it was fluffy, NOT GRAINY!!, and tender. There were a lot of components in this cake and the orange zest was a little strong and the cinnamon a little weak, but it was damn good. If I hadn't announced that it was GF, sugar free, and low in fat, I don't think anybody would have guessed.

GF carrot cake!
Kick-Ass Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from a pilfered internet recipe that calls for 3x as much sugar as you really need

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (2 8-oz boxes = 1 pound) cream cheese (not fat free) room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fine or superfine milled cane sugar or honey or whatever

  • in a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft and fluffy. add the cream cheese, vanilla, and salt and beat at low speed just until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. using a rubber spatula, clean the beaters and scrape the sides of the bowl whenever necessary during beating. start by adding half a cup of sugar or sweetener and beat well. add enough sugar to taste; not more than one cup. beat well to ensure the sugar dissolves.

    use soon after or refrigerate. let the frosting come up to room temperature if cold, and beat a bit to fluff it back up.

    enough to fill and frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake.
    This time around, I used about 3/4 cup of honey for the sweetener. It left the frosting a little bit tangy, which I liked but not my roommate, so we added maybe 2.5 tablespoons of xylitol. Did you know xylitol is from the bark of some tree or something? Crazy.

    I beat the crap out of this frosting which I didn't like. It made it too fluffy; cream cheese frosting is supposed to be on the dense side of things. So, blend the ingredients well, but don't leave the mixer on while you look around for your 1 cup measuring cup, find it dirty in the dishwasher, and clean and dry it. Just saying.

    crappy picture of a great cake
    i know, the photo isn't too good, but you get the idea


    1. i am soo sad i missed out on this scrumcious(sp?) sounding cake. will you make one of these for my brithday on august?

    2. sure! just give me fair warning...

    3. ECL I am seriously against this GF cake baking. Pretty soon you'll be baking hippie vegan crap and I'll have to come after you with a steak and a chainsaw.
      I will do it, too.

    4. i know, i know. i'm breaking all my own rules for cakes that rock your socks, but this one actually is really good! you can't tell that it's all "healthy" and shit!

      don't worry. i won't go all hippie vegan on your ass. that would be depressing.

    5. ECL thank you so much for the recipe. I baked one today and it is quite edible! It made the house smell so good even the neighbors were asking what it was! I used bob's red mill gf baking mix for the 1cup mishap, and doubled the cinnamon. The orange is still pretty over the top and I will halve it next time. The batter turned out to be way thick (was yours?) and my hand mixer gagged - maybe too much flour - was I supposed to sift it? I had not had carrot cake for over 3 years until a month ago when my hubby brought home a 6 dollar frozen loaf cake from WF. We just thought there had to be something better. I had wanted nothing to do with gf baking until I found your recipe. I am sorry zetta puts it in a category with "health food" bcs it's the only way I get to eat cake! Thanks for the inspiration. I am sure I will try more experiments, now that i finally have the xanthum gum. :-)

    6. Cynthia, i'm so glad you liked the recipe!! (i'm assuming "quite edible" means you liked it...)

      how do you like bob's GF baking mix? i think i used it when making pastry crust, but never on its own. did your cake come out grainy? i find that bob's red mill's rice flour isn't ground fine enough; i don't know where you live but if you can find rice flour at an asian grocery, it will most likely be more fine, and hence your baking will be less grainy.

      i recall this cake batter being more on the wet side of things; did you use dry measuring cups for the flour? if you used the glass measuring cups (for liquids) to measure out the dry stuff chances are you'll get more flour than necessary. that's the only thing i can think of right now that could make your batter so thick. i once mixed it up by hand with a balloon whisk so i know it shouldn't be so stiff.

      those WF cakes are SO expensive! we thought the same thing--we could do it better--hence my forays into GF baking.

      have you looked at the Gluten Free Girl's website yet? she's got some great GF baking recipes.

      thanks for stopping by and letting me know you tried the recipe!! i'd love to hear more about your GF baking escapades in the future!