Boston is seriously one of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I can't even say we really go out and take in the "Irishness" of the city that much. (Though we did spend most of the day in the vaguely Irish bars of Gov't Center last weekend.) But you can sort of feel it in the air, can't you? This year we'll be enjoying brunch on a friend's balcony, watching the parade go by.
And I know we'll be seeing a fair share of green recipes this weekend (this girl's not complaining), so I thought I'd share a little something celebrating that other color of Ireland: orange.
I made this carrot cake a while ago after we went on yet another vegetable soup kick and had a bag of leftover carrots in the crisper. It's been awhile since I had carrot cake, and this one hit the spot. Perfectly moist and sweet. It's a great, wholesome Easter treat.
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar or 1-to-1 sugar substitute*
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tbsp orange zest, packed
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots, packed
*I used 1/2 cup of palm sugar, and 1/2 cup of stevia baking blend.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the tops and sides of a bunting pan.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract, and whisk until well mixed and without any lumps of sugar or zest.
3. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture one third at a time, stirring until just mixed. The batter will be thick. Fold in the carrots until evenly mixed.
4. Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.
5. When the cake is cool, transfer to a serving dish. Top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or your choice of traditional or vegan cream cheese frosting.