Carrot Cake
Desserts, Electra, Essensia, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

This cake is both decadent and less sweet than most carrot cakes, making it a wonderful pairing for a sweet wine like Essensia or Electra. It has about half the sugar of other carrot cake recipes. Some of the sweetness comes from the pineapple. This cake also uses whole wheat pastry flour, resulting in a moist cake. In our opinion the best carrot cakes have cream cheese frosting. This frosting is a decadent mixture of cream cheese, a little buttermilk, and a litte sugar.

Cake:
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsn. buttermilk
2 Tbsn. flaked coconut, toasted

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat one 9-by-13-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray or butter. Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and 1/4 cup coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes for the rectangular pan. Check at 30 minutes for the two circular pans. Let cool completely on a wire rack. To prepare frosting and finish cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

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