Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rabbit Finds A Way ~ Carrot Cake

One of the most fun things about being a parent is rediscovering memories from your childhood. I especially enjoy remembering books that I loved and haven't thought about for 30 years. I remember reading Rabbit Finds A Way again and again. I just loved the characters - Rabbit making his way to Bear's house in hope for carrot cake that Bear usually bakes every Saturday morning, turning down yummy food from Duck and Squirrel. And what does Rabbit do when Bear slept in, instead of baking? After a little moping, he gets the recipe from Bear and makes cakes and cakes and cakes!

Just recently I remembered this book and found a used copy on www.abebooks.com. Pieter and I read the book as soon as it arrived in the mail and then pulled out everything to make some carrot cake, just like Rabbit. I found a couple recipes - one low fat, one whole grains and combined the two, with a little tweaking of my own, like reducing the sugar. Now one of my favorite cakes might be not so bad for you!

Carrot Cake
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed rapadura (or brown sugar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound carrots, finely grated (3 cups)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour baking pan(s) - 13x9, 2 nine inch layers or 3 eight inch layers.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
  • Beat eggs and sugars on medium-high until they turn thick and creamy, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the oil until thoroughly combined and emulsified, 30 to 60 seconds. 
  • Add vanilla.
  • On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until most of the lumps are gone (do not overmix). By hand stir in the carrots and nuts until well combined. 
  • Pour into cake pan and bake 30-35 minutes for 8 inch layers, 35 to 40 minutes for 9 inch layers or 45-50 minutes for 13x9. 
  • Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (6 ounces) confectioners' sugar, sifted
milk to thin
  • Mix cream cheese at medium high speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add milk to thin it to your desired consistency (a splash, like 3 tablespoons).
  • Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake.
Note: Due to the whole grains in this recipe, the cake actually tastes better after sitting for one day, allowing the flour to absorb more moisture. So, if you are pressed for time, make the cake the day before frosting it. Just leave the layers in the pans and wrap well so they don't dry out.

3 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun book! We'll have to check it out next time at the library. We've been cooking pumpkin muffins and my freezer is full of puree now that the jack o lanterns have been processed. More to make!

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  2. Too much fun. Looks super yummy. A and I have yet to do book-themed food, but will have to give it a try soon.

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  3. I remember this book!! I loved it, too.

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