Moist, tender, sweet (honey-sweetened, with a little molasses, no sugar), and rich, spiced but not overly so, this is best traditional-styled carrot cake I have ever tasted. I never order carrot cake no matter how good the bakery or restaurant, because I know it won’t be as delish as this one. Thank you, Evelyn Cross… who gave me this recipe a shocking 45 years ago!
Of course you can top it in the classic manner, with a cream cheese icing, but to me it is infinitely more perfect with my Indian-Style Buttermilk-Rosewater Ice Cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped pistachio nuts.
1 cup mild vegetable oil (corn, peanut, canola, or algae all work well here); plus a little extra for greasing pan
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons honey (warm honey slightly if it is more solid than liquid)
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla ice cream
1 1/3 cup wholewheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 teaspoons EACH baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
2 cups grated carrots, packed
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (omit if you are going to serve with the Indian-Style Buttermilk-Rosewater Ice Cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped pistachio nuts)
1. Preheat oven to 300. Oil a rectangular 9X13 inch pan, and set aside.
2. Combine the vegetable oil, honey, and molasses, using a handheld mixer, until emulsified (whipped into one gooey mass, no distinct oil or honey). Add, one at a time, the eggs, then the vanilla. Set aside.
3. Sift together, into a large bowl, all the dry ingredients.
4. Pour/scrape the honey-oil-egg mixture into the sifted dry ingredients, scraping out every last bit with a rubber spatula.Combine the wet and dry mixtures thoroughly, by hand, but don’t overbeat; lastly, stir in the carrots, raisins, and, if using, the walnuts.
5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for an hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Based on a recipe from The Dairy Hollow House Cookbook.
Makes 18 3-by-2-inch servings. Everyone, however, will want seconds or thirds.