Some people love, just absolutely love carrot cakes. I’m not one of them. I’ll eat it, but I don’t consider carrot cake as my favorite cake. I think the trick is to find a recipe that you can connect and bond with, and the rest is history. Believe me, I’ve tried countless recipes for carrot cake, and some were indeed good, but I’m just not a carrot cake person. Carrot cake and I will remain as polite acquaintances never to foster deep relationship. However, the carrot bread I baked today will go on my list of vegetable based breads/cakes I will continue to bake (along with my favorite zucchini bread, which I keep on thinking I have to post sometime soon).
I found this carrot bread recipe on the Food and Wine magazine website. It is Beth Hensperger’s (bread expert!) recipe.
This will make (2) 8x4inch loaf pans
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 14 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or grease and lightly flour the pans.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating at high speed until the batter has doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in the shredded carrots. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed in 3 batches, mixing well between additions.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.
MAKE AHEAD Wrap the bread tightly in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
My opinion: The crust becomes a bit crisp as it cools down (which is a very nice texture), love the rounded taste of all these ingredients. Do you know what is a very welcome addition to this ingredient? Cardamom! I was a bit too lazy to crush the cardamom seeds so I used powder instead. You can taste the subtle taste of cardamom which I love. I think the crushed seeds will give you more of an intense taste (which I will also love). If you don’t have seeds, just use the powder (and if you like more pronounced cardamom taste add 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of powder).