Comfort food treats: It’s National Carrot Cake Day

Carrot Cake.
Comfort food.
So perfect for the season.
Wintery doldrums…
while anticipating the springtime.
It’s also National Carrot Cake Day.
Carrot Cake is almost a requisite on dessert and patisserie offerings.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered: more classic finds.
Our versatile product portfolio is available to showcase your kitchen’s best.
Best Carrot Cake Ever
6 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 10 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.
…and then imagine carrot cake lite.
Try this version…
Bobby’s Lighter Carrot Cake
Recipe Courtesy of  Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
Frosting
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line with wax-paper rounds; spray with nonstick spray.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl using a hand mixer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the apple butter and oil just until blended.  Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the carrots and pineapple.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 – 35 minutes.  Let cool in the pans on racks 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto racks and remove the wax paper; let cool completely.  For the frosting: Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer.  Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 cup of the frosting over the layer. Top with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with the nuts.
Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 329 Cal; 5 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 56 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 29 g Sugar; 81 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 343 mg Sodium; 41 mg Cholesterol
Take 5 Carrot Cupcakes
courtesy of Chef Bryan Vietmeier for Seattle’s Take 5 Urban Market
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 6 carrots)
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray the liners with vegetable-oil spray. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the canola oil. Gradually beat in the sugar at medium-high speed and beat until thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, then fold in the carrots. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then transfer the cupcakes to the freezer to chill. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the carrot cupcakes and serve. Alternatively, use a knife to spread the frosting on the cupcakes and serve.
TIP: Try freezing the cupcakes before frosting to firm them up, preventing crumbs.
The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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