Lorna’s Health Food Restaurant Carrot Cake

  • Serves: Makes one 9- or 10-inch springform pan, or a 10-inch tube pan; Makes 6 cups batter.
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325
  • Views: 12421
  • Comments: 49

Wedding cake and photo by LittleIsland, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips

Squirrelly Cakes, Premium Member, Says: "This is my absolute favorite carrot cake and I use it for weddings and stacked cakes with or without cream cheese filling. Often I use the cream cheese filling but buttercream ice the cake. It comes from a lady who used to make carrot cakes for restaurants and cafe's in the 1970's. I think I have given the recipe to thousands of folks by now and everyone who tried it, liked it. It is a dense cake. My sister uses dark brown sugar, I use light brown sugar. You can double or triple the recipe with no problems."

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons groundcinnamon
2 teaspoons wheat bran (optional) not the cereal, but the kind you get from health food stores - use it if you can find it, it adds to the cake
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1/2 cup sultana or golden raisins, optional (sometimes I use currants instead)

4 large eggs 
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups coarsely grated carrots

1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir together. Add nuts and raisins. In a separate bowl mix eggs, oil, milk and carrots. Make a well in the bowl containing the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, whisking only to combine. Pour into a prepared greased and floured pan - this can be made in a 9- or 10- inch springform pan, a 10- inch tube pan etc. I usually grease and flour and line the cake pan bottom with parchment paper.

3. Bake:
I double the recipe and add another 1/4 recipe for a round, 3-inch x 12- inch pan. Each recipe makes 6 cups of batter when the nuts and raisins are added. For a 12- x 15- inch sheet pan, double the recipe and bake at 325 for approximately 65-68 minutes.

The single recipe will take 50 to 60 minutes. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a couple of moist crumbs. This cake tends to sink a bit in the middle when nuts and raisins are used, sometimes after removing from oven. If you have a really slow oven, it can take upwards to 90 minutes to bake a single recipe - it takes that long for my sister.

4. Cooling and frosting:
For springform pan, follow cooling directions. For all other pans, cool in pan for 15-20 minutes and then remove from pan.

This cake can be torted and cream cheese filling can be added as follows. (The cake is easier to torte when the nuts and raisins aren't used or when previously frozen - but stills tortes well with a serrated knife either way.) Remember to place a stiff buttercream bead around the outside rim of the cake so cream cheese filling won't seep through the sides.

1/3 cup softened butter
1, 8 ounce package of regular cream cheese, not the light kind, let warm at room temperature for awhile
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar

1. Whip butter until fluffy. Add cream cheese and whip until well blended.

2. Add vanilla and icing sugar and whip until well mixed.

If you are not covering with fondant, this cake can be refrigerated if desired. It keeps well either way but seal in a container. I make it as early as the Wednesday before a Saturday wedding and seal the cake with apricot glaze. I make the cream cheese filling and fill the cake the day before the wedding, but for home use I find it keeps well days ahead. The unfilled cake also freezes well and can be made up to 6 weeks in advance.

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