Ginger Carrot Cake

Ginger carrot cake

Ginger carrot cake

Carrot cake is a universally loved cake by all Anglo Saxons. But ask your average Italian if they’d like to try carrot cake, zucchini bread or other sweet made from vegetables and they’ll politely decline. Yet once they taste these sweets they become instant converts.
I’m in a ginger phase right now and am drinking ginger tisanas, making ginger scones, cookies and cakes. And I’ve always loved Thai and Chinese ginger based savory dishes.
So a natural evolution of my carrot cake was to throw in some minced fresh ginger. Try it; it’s a natural partnership. If you want to take the ginger flavor a step further then leave out the lemon zest from the icing and replace it with several tablespoons of finely chopped candied ginger. Delicious!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
Flour, 454 grams (2 cups)
Baking soda, 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon, ground, 1 teaspoon
Carrots, grams, grated
Ginger, finely minced, 2 tablespoons
Olive oil, 300 milliliters (1 1/4 cups)
Sugar, 454 grams (2 cups)
Eggs, four large

For the icing:
Cream cheese (or other soft, spreadable cheese), 320 grams (11.3 ounces)
Butter, softened, 70 grams (2 1/2 ounces)
Powdered sugar, 250 grams (8.8 ounces / 2.1 cups)
Lemon zest from two lemons

Procedure:

12 walnut halves (for garnish)

For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and ginger. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.

For icing: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended. Beat in maple syrup. Chill until just firm enough to spread, 30 minutes.
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup icing. Top with second layer. Spread remaining icing over entire cake. Arrange walnut halves around top edge. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

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