It’s strange to think that anyone ever had the seemingly strange idea of adding carrots to a sweet cake mixture but somebody did, and thank goodness! No one has ever managed to precisely trace the history of the first carrot cake, but carrot pudding dates back to Medieval times and it’s likely the cake – or at least the concept of it – was born then.
‘Cake’ in fact comes from a Norse Viking word ‘kaka’ which would have roughly translated as ‘sweet bread’. The link to carrot pudding and its evolution from there is a likely one, given that in those days and persisting through to the middle ages, sugar and other sweeteners were expensive and hard to come by. Carrot pulp was often used as the substitute for sweetened.
This sweet, spicy and fruity moist cake is glorious in all its guises, however, you choose to enjoy it and with whatever topping. We’ve rounded up some of the best incarnations of this very satisfying vegetable-inspired dessert.
1. Carrot Cake Donuts
These baked carrot cake donuts won’t leave you craving the gym – only another bite. As if carrot cake with any twist isn’t good enough, this take takes heaven to a new level by combining the moistest of crunchy, nutty cake fillings in a donut offer.
This recipe is not overly sweet, uses sensible cream cheese frosting and is topped with unsweetened coconut for extra crunch. You could simply add sprinkles, nuts or whatever you prefer. Mix milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle. Also, melt some butter and let it cool. Whisk together flours (whole wheat and all-purpose), baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside.
In the cooled butter, whisk in sugar, honey, egg and vanilla extract until smoothly combined, then add the curdled milk. Add your flour mixture and carrots as well as honey. Keep the mixture quite dense by not overbeat it. Shape into donuts or put in donut trays and bake at 400F for 7 minutes. For the topping, mix together cream cheese and powdered or caster sugar, and sprinkle with raw coconut.