Carrot Cake


Have excess apple butter and carrots laying around?  Problem solved.

Carrot Cake

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¾ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup if you like it less sweet or plan to serve it for breakfast)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
½ cup sweetened apple butter (or apple sauce)
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Position racks in the top and bottom third of the oven, and preheat to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans. Or line a muffin tin with paper cups. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Whisk well to blend.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. Add the apple butter, beating to mix. Add the flour mixture, and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed. Add the carrots and the pecans, and beat briefly.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  If making cupcakes, bake only 20 minutes.  Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes; then turn them out onto the rack to cool completely.

Frost it with your favorite cream cheese frosting or just slice and eat.  If you still have apple butter left, put a layer between the cakes or fill the cupcakes with it.