Amid an abundance of moist carrot cake recipes, this one stands apart. Tart apple, toasted nuts, brown butter, and warm spices combine to create a memorable cake that you will want to serve again and again. Chose a sour apple, such as Granny Smith, for the most impact, and make sure to use a fine mesh strainer to gently squeeze out any excess water after shredding.
Nutty Carrot Cake
2 eggs, room temperature
6 ounces unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine table salt
1 cup all purpose flour (125g)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup lightly packed peeled and shredded apple, drained of excess water
1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded carrot
2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and line a square 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in colour. Measure a 1/2 cup of the liquid brown butter (there will be some remaining) and gradually add it to the egg mixture while whisking until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Combine the flour, spices, baking power, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently and gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, just until the mixture is combined.
- Fold in the shredded apple, carrot, and pecans.
- Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 35-40 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (a few moist crumbs is okay).
- Let cool completely in pan, then carefully use the parchment overhang to lift the cake out of the tin, or simply cut and serve.
Quick Brown Butter Frosting
1/3 cup unsalted butter (2.7 oz)
2 cups icing sugar (250g)
tiny pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons 35% cream
- Melt and brown the butter, let cool slightly.
- Stir in the salt, icing sugar, vanilla and enough cream to reach desired consistency.
- Spread over completely cooled cake.