Carrot cake recipe has ancient origins, which seem to date back to the Middle Ages. At the time, carrot cake looked more like a pudding rather than a real cake and carrot, the sweetest vegetable, were perfect as a sweetener. This vegetable, brought to Europe by Arabs, becomes indispensable, thanks to its versatility, not only in savory recipes but also for desserts.
Carrot cake: brief history
Over the centuries, other sources on the carrot cake recipe seem to be traced back to Norway where the recipe would be created.
In the United States, carrot cake is mentioned for the first time in 1783. In the “New York Cookbook” by Molly O’Neill, the author wrote that George Washington was entranced by the Carrot Cake he tasted at the “Fraunces Tavern” in Manhattan to celebrate the British Evacuation Day. Thus, the American Carrot Cake quickly became a popular dessert and, starting from the 1960s, it became the classic cake with cheese icing, whose recipe appears for the first time in 1964 in an article by the “Washington Post”.
The popularity of this dessert becomes significant in the Anglo-Saxon countries, especially in Great Britain, where it became part of the daily food distributed during the Second World War.
There are several versions of this timeless carrot cake. Some people particularly like the moisture of carrot cake, others, instead, love to feel the essence of carrot, preferring a soft but not wet texture.
In both cases, the difference is, above all, in baking and in the type of flour used. My recipe refers to the typical Italian tradition and so it is without icing. It manages to balance the taste and the softness. For this reason, I prefer to blen carrots, so they dissolve inside the dough, giving the cake a beautiful yellow-orange color, and a softness that lasts for a few days with an intense aroma.
Carrot cake: ingredients
3 organic carrots (2 if they are large)
Juice of 1 organic lemon
Juice of 1 organic orange
2 large free range organic eggs
125 ml (3½ fl oz) dates syrup
80 ml (3 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
200 g (7 oz) brown rice flour, sifted
50 g (2 oz) almonds flour, sifted
75 g (3 oz) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
15 g (½ oz) organic baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
Carrot cake: method
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
- Wash and cut the carrots. Sprinkle them with the orange and lemon juice and blend.
- Whip the eggs with the dates syrup. Add the olive oil, sifted flours, 50 g (2 oz) of the chopped hazelnuts, the baking powder and a pinch of sea salt.
- Mix the ingredients together and add the carrots.
- Pour the dough into a round mold, oiled and floured. Sprinkle the surface with the remaining hazelnuts and bake for 30 minutes.