A Moist Carrot Orange Cake Recipe, that when sliced, is all about the vibrant orange carrots, sunny orange zest and the richness of real yogurt.
Carrot Cake Recipe Memories – Good and Bad
Easter of 2020, and I became a real Brat!
No easter egg hunt with my grandchildren, chocolate bunnies and no Carrot Cake for my family.
Usually a carrot cake is one I make for the kids, when I start to see bunnies darting around my yard in spring.
I let that darn Covid-19 rob me of a beautiful day.
First time in my life, I wore black on Easter Sunday! But then, something happened.
As my only visitors that spring of 2020 were squirrels, birds, deer and rabbits (trust me), I was beginning to feel like Beatrix Potter.
Those cheerful critters gave me an attitude adjustment.
I’m making Carrot Cake, if only for me!
Carrots Bunnies And Other Spring Happenings
I took a long drive to where I grew up. Remembered so many beautiful stories and faces from my childhood.
Sailboats were sitting still at dock, lifeless.
Few people out. Spring green everywhere.
Then I drove to the home where my sisters and I entered into our adult years, and my first 2 children were born: acres and acres of lush farmland.
It was there, that it happened.
A Visit To The Countryside Where Creative Recipes Are Inspired
I saw a huge John Deere piece of farm equipment, that iconic bright green and yellow.
A recent HGTV television commercial came to mind, “Life might be standing still right now but the earth is full of life…”
I came home, opened my fridge and there was this bundle of bright orange carrots smiling at me.
CARROT CAKE, they whispered? Oh Yes, I replied!
Carrot Cake Recipe Must Be About The Carrots!
While I have had carrot cakes much of my life, dating back to the early 70’s. When I had my first, I saw lots of variations; one even showcasing pineapple in the carrot cake.
I tried some of the recipes, but the carrots didn’t seem to dominate the cake. I wanted a carrot cake, any bunny from my yard would be proud to steal from me!
While peeling and grating carrots, looking out the window at trees that were coming alive after a long winter’s sleep, I realized how grateful I was to live in a place that has season changes.
Perhaps life for us humans wasn’t going to change any time soon with the monster pandemic robbing us of life as we knew it, but life, movement and change was happening in nature.
Spring Bunnies And Carrots
The grass was beginning to grow, birds were busy from sun up to sun down, flowers were blooming and the sun began to draw me, once again, outside.
Dare I say I also became inspired to create a Carrot Risotto to actually look like a carrot? Strange times call for strange creativity!
The Best Moist Carrot Orange Cake Of A Pandemic Year
I must admit, since I put so much thought into this carrot cake, gave it so much importance during lean and unusual times, it turned out to be one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever made.
I didn’t want to suffocate this perfectly ‘carroty’ carrot cake with icing, or drown out the carrots with other ingredients that were not supporting actors to the carrots.
Instead, I wanted this carrot cake to always remind me, years from now, how much it meant to enjoy a carrot rich cake, alone, in springtime.
Remember always to feel the company and comfort of nature all around me, even during bustling times of life.
Parsnips vs Carrot Cake Recipe
Suddenly it’s Autumn and carrots seemed a faded memory of spring.
So, on a whim, I tried carrot’s faded cousin in my cake, the parsnip.
Dare I say, the parsnip is actually sweeter, when cooked, than carrots are?
Well, I just did, so by all means, give this exact same recipe a try in Autumn, only swap out the carrots for parsnips!
- Orange zest
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Powdered sugar
- Springform pan
- Mixing bowl
- Non-stick spray
- Paper doily for dusting design
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Citrus zester
- Box Grater – if not using a food processor to grate the carrots, I use this box grater.
Moist Carrot Orange Cake Recipe
- Food processor or Box grater
- Whisk and large bowl
- 9-inch Springform pan
- 3 cups Carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 1/3 cup Sugar
- 4 Eggs separated
- 1 cup Oil sunflower or other light flavor
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 1 Orange juice and zest
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Powdered sugar finishing
- Preheat the oven to 350. Rub oil or spray non-stick inside the baking pan, preferably a springform pan.
- Whisk the egg whites until fluffy and set aside. Mix the egg yolks, carrots, sugar, oil, yogurt, juice of the orange and 1 tablespoon of orange zest together (saving some zest for garnish).
- Sprinkle in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix batter well. Fold in the whipped egg whites, well without whisking.
- Pour into prepared baking pan and bake until tester comes out clean, about an hour.
- Once cool, powdered sugar can be dusted across the top with a generous zest of orange rind.