Coconut Pecan Carrot Cake
I've tried many recipes for carrot cake over the years and have never been satisfied. When I had to bake a cake for a special occasion at the monastery, I created this reduced-fat version. To make the cake even more wholesome, I replaced the white flour with whole-wheat flour, replaced the white sugar with maple and honey, and added toasted wheat germ. The result is not only scrumptious, but healthful.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour Add to list
- 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or an additional 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour) Add to list
- 2 teaspoons baking powder Add to list
- 2 teaspoons baking soda Add to list
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Add to list
- 1 teaspoon sea salt Add to list
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce Add to list
- 1/2 cup honey Add to list
- 1/2 cup maple syrup Add to list
- 4 large egg whites plus 1 large egg or 3 large eggs Add to list
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Add to list
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest Add to list
- 3 1/2 packed cups grated carrots Add to list
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts Add to list
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted Add to list
- 1/3 cup currants (optional) Add to list
Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with spray, oil or butter and set aside.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, wheat germ (if using), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt .
Combine the applesauce, honey, and maple syrup with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and egg(s) and beat for 30 seconds, or until frothy. Add the vanilla and orange zest and beat for a few seconds more.
Stir the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture just until thoroughly blended. Fold in the carrots, pecans or walnuts, coconut, and currants, if using.
Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread evenly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely on a rack before frosting. Serve.
For Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat all the ingredients together using an electric mixer, until smooth. Spread on the cooled cake.
Note 1: If the frosting is too sweet, it hides the subtle undertones of the carrot cake, so be careful not to add too much honey.
Note 2: Sprinkling toasted coconut and/or arranging toasted pecan halves on top of the frosting makes an impressive presentation. If you are serving a large crowd, make two cakes and layer frosting between them.
Recipe by, Chef
Source: "3 Bowls"