Today I received a happy e-mail from my cousin in Portugal. My grandmother is turning 100 years by the end of December and that’s certainly the perfect reason to celebrate a life. One hundred! I’m delighted with the news. She is my only grandparent alive and the only great-grandmother to my daughter and to my second baby to be born next Spring. A party is being prepared to honor her and although I won’t be able to attend I’m excited to be sharing this big news with all of you. I hope to go visit in the near future and bring my children to meet their beautiful and unique ancient member of the family.
This cake is for her. Made with my favorite vegetable that can also represents a connection to the earth, to my homeland, a root plucked from the dirt, possibly picked with bare hands directly to a rural kitchen. This is an image that reminds me of her, the mother of my father, with her hands revolving the soil of their farm. We would be always returning home with a bag full of produce and eggs. Old times. She doesn’t take care of the farm anymore but I’m still cherishing that land. This is the best carrot cake I’ve ever made. The softest, flavorful and extra moist of all times. And to my own pleasure, the easiest as well. Cheers to a life plenty of history, long life to you grandmother.
Eggless Carrot Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Frosting
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
Eggless Carrot Cake (adapted from here)
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup grated carrot
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle flour on top and shift the pan to spread the flour all around the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl of a stand or hand mixer blend all the dry ingredients (first 8: flours, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt). Add the grated carrot and stir until well blend. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (water, olive oil, vanilla and vinegar). Add the wet ingredients to the first mix and mix until combined. Add the chopped walnuts and stir well.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In the meantime, prepare the frosting.
Apricot Cream Cheese Frosting
NOTE: The cake can be totally vegan if you use a substitute for cream cheese and butter or other frosting of your choice
8 oz cream cheese
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp apricot jam
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts for decoration on top
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter. Add the apricot jam and blend well. Slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon powder and beat until incorporated.
Spread the frosting on top of the cake and top with the chopped walnuts.