I know: the combination of carrots and chocolate took you slightly by surprise. Frankly, it did me too. But then I tried it, and I was surprised no longer. Think zucchini chocolate cake and you’ll understand why carrot chocolate works so well. The carrots impart no flavor and almost no texture – instead they serve only to make the moist, rich chocolate cake of your dreams (or, at least mine . . .). The cake comes together in a nanosecond, save for the fact you need to grate your carrots pretty finely. I like to use the larger microplane for this, not the long and skinny one, but the one shaped like a rectangle. I think finely grating results in the best texture, but if you do not have a microplane, you will still end up with an awfully yummy cake. The cake does not need the cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream, if you’d rather not pull out your mixer and dirty another bowl. But a slice of this cake slathered with a bit of the tangy, slightly spicy cream, is indeed pretty great, just saying.
To take a peek at the original blog post for my chocolate carrot loaf cake with cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 9 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- a rounded 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup olive oil, NOT extra virgin (or any neutral oil of your choosing)
- 1 yolk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups lightly packed, finely grated carrots (I use a microplane)
FOR THE CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper, so the paper goes up the two short sides of the pan. Set aside.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and whisk long enough to insure the leavening is evenly distributed. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars and oil and whisk vigorously. Add the yolk and eggs, one at a time, gently whisking after each addition. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Add the melted chocolate and whisk a final time.
Add the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture, and with a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry into the wet, until a few streaks of flour remain. Add the carrots and fold again, until the carrots are completely incorporated. Let the cake batter rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the cake after 15, and checking it with a cake tester/toothpick after 35. The tester should have a few moist crumbs, on it, but nothing too wet.
While the cake bakes, make the whipped cream.
Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip it on medium speed until smooth. Add the cream and continue to whip on medium speed until the cream is incorporated.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and, on medium-high speed, whip the cream mixture until it holds stiff peaks that stand upright when the whisk is raised. Use it immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in its pan on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes or so, or until the cake is still warm, but you can easily hold the pan without burning yourself. Invert the cake onto the cooling rack and let the cake cool completely. Serve slices spread with cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream.
The cake improves with time and is even better on day two.