Lonely-Carrots Carrot Cake

Lonely-Carrots Carrot Cake


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I don’t mean to expose myself as someone who discusses about appliances as IF I have no real life (…) but am I the only one who suspects that her refrigerator suffers from seasonal bipolar disorder going from Fall to Winter? Now before you all go into the comments and say if my fridge is on the blink then I should go find a repairman (like http:www.jakesappliancerepair.com or 0800-FRIDGEREPAIR) to sort her out, let me be a little more specific. I’m saying around October and towards the end of every year, (for the sake of easy referencing and NOT because I am totally juvenile and pathetic, let’s call it…) Skinny Box behaves like a healthy female who is gladly stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats and dairies, readily equipped for all kinds of culinary wonders. But as the weather slides quite abruptly into January to February, her mood-swing takes a deep dive into anorexic tendency taking only the basic necessity for life such as caffeinated drinks and probiotic capsules. And can you believe that she has the guts to blame me for it?! Argh.


Normally I let it slide for keeping some kinda peace at home, but this year Skinny Box has taken her behavioral issue to a new height as I woke up the other day to her temperamental display with arms crossing, spitting nothing but two sad carrots at my face, fully acknowledging that I have a food blog to sustain and all. NOTHING ELSE but just two lonely carrots… so lonely that you’d feel like cracking them a joke. I don’t know what she’s so upset with me for? She knows perfectly that it is absolutely too cold to take my shopping-cart Big Bull to the market as he isn’t exactly at his prime anymore and has over the years developed some sort of arthritis issues (and, to my great horror, individual short term disability policies don’t seem to cover shopping-carts. Arthritis, yes, but sadly only in humans). For her to challenge me like this is just utterly unacceptable. Completely childish.

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But I’m not gonna let her get me. Skinny B. thinks I can’t pull of a decent display of cookmanship with something so ordinary, but she has clearly miscalculated. I have been weeks now, contemplating on baking a carrot cake to go with my new favorite icing discovered from Keller’s new cookbook. It was originally designed to go with something along the line of a brioche bun which, for the record, I have tested only to reconfirm that the icing completely stole the show. It’s flavored with JUST the right amount of ground cardamon and cinnamon that gives it a distinct edge making it perfect for something also slightly spicy as carrot cake. The test result, oh let me tell you, SUUUUBLIME. It didn’t even last long enough to be stored back into Skinny B’s undeserving shelf as she watched jealously. This is how you own a defiant appliance and put her back in line.

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Try not to skip on any of the spices in the recipe as each and every spices play a role in the harmonized flavor of the final product. Most of the carrot cake recipes online calls for vegetable oil but I puzzle at the idea of adding fat without the benefit of flavors, so I switched it to butter. I know you wouldn’t mind.


  • Carrot cake: adapted from Alton Brown
    • 6 oz (170 g) grated carrots
    • 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp of ground allspice
    • 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp of salt
    • 7 tbsp (100 g) of unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup of sugar
    • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup of sweeten condensed milk
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • Spiced icing: adapted from Thomas Keller
    • 1 cup of powder sugar
    • 1/8 tsp of ground cardamon
    • 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
    • 2 1/2 tbsp of whole milk

Preheat the oven on 350º/175ºC.

In a food processor (the first time I did this with a box grater which I fully regretted doing), grate the carrots through the finest grate. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pulse JUST until all the ingredients are evenly mixed but be careful NOT TO puree the carrots. The mixture should still be crumbly with pieces of carrots throughout.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer), mix the butter, sugar, brown sugar and sweeten condensed milk until pale and fluffy, approx 3 min. Add the eggs (I just do this all at once) and beat until fluffy again, another 3 min. Add the carrot and flour mixture, and plain yogurt and whisk until the mixture is smoothly combined.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (the paper will stick to the pan much easier if you apply a thin layer of oil on the pan first), and pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake in the oven under 350º/175ºC for 40 min. Then turn the heat down to 325º/160ºC for another 20~25 min until a cake tester (I use a bamboo skewer) comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 min, then lift the parchment paper to remove it and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Whisk together powder sugar, ground cardamon, ground cinnamon and milk together to form the icing. Pour it onto the cake (once completely cooled) and serve. May I remind you that this is considered a vegetable intake…


  • Laura

    January 22, 2013 at 1:31 AM Reply

    thank you for this! i love this recipe – we are making it today – thank you : )

    • Mandy L.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM Reply

      let me know how it turns out!

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    January 22, 2013 at 1:50 AM Reply

    One word: YUM. Actually, maybe one more: Damn.

    love this!

  • sophistimom

    January 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM Reply

    This looks oh so delicious. I love how it is drenched in icing on that first picture. Yummm.

  • Rachel @ Bakerita

    January 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM Reply

    Your writing is great! And those photos…stunning. This cake sound so delicious, and I’m so glad I discovered your site. I’ll definitely be following your recipes!

  • Mandy L.

    January 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM Reply

    Thanks you guys!! You have no idea how much your supports help with my self-doubt issue :) i will try to keep it up!!

  • Jenny

    January 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM Reply

    You just made me a huge fan of carrot cake!

  • Mado

    July 10, 2013 at 4:33 AM Reply

    Thank you for this great recipe. The second time I used this recipe I tried adding some lime zest and juice to the frosting. It makes a nice contrast with the richness of the cake.

  • june2

    December 8, 2014 at 3:21 AM Reply

    I love the lighter glaze instead of regular cream cheese frosting – though I love that too! I also really love the traditional chopped walnuts in carrot cake so will try this recipe with that addition. Not sure why it adds so much but it really does. Thank you~

  • BakehouseBetty

    February 26, 2015 at 10:12 AM Reply

    I love….I mean LOVE….carrot cake, and this looks delectable. One thing that puzzled me was the decision to use butter instead of oil. While vegetable oil doesn’t have any flavor, its purpose is actually textural. A cake made with oil is going to hold better at both room temperature and cold temperatures since the oil is liquid. What I like to do, especially with hearty cakes like this is to lightly brown a small amount of butter and add that to oil. You get butter flavor, a bit of butterscotchy/nuttiness, and the consistency benefit of oil.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      February 26, 2015 at 2:44 PM Reply

      Bakehousebetty, thanks for the tip!!! yeah I think next time i will use 1/2 butter and 1/2 oil :)

  • Samantha

    May 29, 2017 at 5:57 AM Reply

    Can I leave out the sweeten condensed milk? How will it change the final result?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      May 29, 2017 at 12:16 PM Reply

      Samantha, I suppose the batter would be slightly drier and less sweet, and loses some of the creamy flavor. But it wouldn’t be “inedible” I’m guessing.

      • Samantha

        June 16, 2017 at 2:41 PM Reply

        Hi Mandy, I made this tonight and it was so moist and delicious! I ended up using condensed milk and cut down the regular sugar to 1/4 cup. I didn’t have regular yogurt so used 1/4 cup greek yogurt and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Saw a comment about adding lime so I tried that and it was great (will add more next time).

  • geometry dash

    December 27, 2021 at 12:25 AM Reply

    I love the lighter glaze instead of regular cream cheese frosting – though I love that too! I also really love the traditional chopped walnuts in carrot cake so will try this recipe with that addition. Not sure why it adds so much but it really does. Thank you~

  • Marcela Hermida

    May 13, 2023 at 7:50 AM Reply

    Hoy hice esta receta, es muy rica, con el dulzor justo, la humedad justa, me encanto, la hice version torta con crema de chocolate blanco.

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