The Western equivalent of the carrot cake was something introduced to my wondrous world of food when I was 12 or 13. Before that, the only carrot cake I knew was my shiok, Singaporean carrot cake doused heavily in black sweet sauce (yes I like mine black, not white). Actually, till now, I don’t know why we call it carrot cake. Are there really carrots in it? Hmm.
Anyway, good ang moh (direct translation = red head. The Singaporean equivalent of the word gaijin) carrot cake is hard to find in Singapore. So far only two have been moist and heavenly enough to send me over the moon.
The first is from Cedele, and the other, from some humble, small bakery that Sis used to buy from at her previous-previous job.
So of course I should’ve guessed that mine would necessarily turn out fantastically.. and it didn’t. It’s a supposedly hassle-free ‘One-bowl’ carrot cake, but it turned out to be quite a lot more bowls for me because I spent a good 45 minutes grating carrots with my petite size xxxxs grater. Then I had to use the saucepan to melt the butter. And zest and squeeze several oranges. So no, it took far longer than I expected and turned out far drier than I would’ve liked as well.
Sis liked it only because it tasted nothing like carrot cake.. but tasted like gingerbread. I think that was my fault because too much cinnamon and nutmeg went in. And I didn’t have allspice so it never made it into the cake either. No cream cheese because I hadn’t bought any yet either. And cream cheese is expensive man… I have two 8oz. containers in the fridge now patiently awaiting my use.
Well it may have just been my own mistake somewhere or another that caused it to turn out so un-moist. But I’ve cross-referred the recipe with some other carrot cake ones and I think a lot more could’ve gone in to make it better (like more butter, eggs, I don’t know if I’m going to try the pineapple version…) so I’m going to try till I create a happy, fluffy, moist carrot cake.
One-Bowl Carrot Cake
adapted from Baking Bites
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (from 2-3 large carrots), drained
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
- In a large bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until smooth.
- Beat in melted butter, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, spices and salt.
- When combined, sift in the flour and baking soda (sifting helps evenly distribute the baking soda) and gently stir it into the batter until no streaks remain.
- Stir in shredded carrot, then scrape into prepared pan.
- Bake for 36-42 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tbsp butter, softened
4-oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
- Beat together butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl.
- Add in confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and zest and beat until smooth.