Eating In: Carrot-Walnut Loaf Cake

I subscribe to exactly one magazine: Bon Appétit. (That should pretty much tell you where food falls on my priorities list.) It has evolved into a perfect mix of food travel and restaurant reviews and food trends and recipes. It’s awesome. Bon Appétit, if you ever need a digital expert to add to your team, I’m right here.

At the beginning of the magazine is a section, rather like the “reader letters” section in many magazines, where readers can write in and request that Bon Appétit track down the recipe of some delicious dish that they had in some restaurant somewhere and just have to, have to recreate at home.

As it so happens, I picked up this carrot loaf recipe from exactly that section when in search of what to do with some of the one-too-many carrot bunches I’d received in our bi-weekly CSA box. Bonus: I already had most of the other ingredients on hand (see the recipe note to illuminate that “most”).

The stars of the show are raisins, walnuts, and grated carrots, which were surprisingly quicker and easier to grate than I had mentally prepared myself for.

Like most cake-type recipes, you sift all the dry bits together (and in this case, mix some of the add-ins with a bit of flour)…

…and then blend in with the wet ones, making a simple batter.

The mix-ins are added (including the carrots), and you’re left with a not-very-picturesque batter, which goes into the loaf pan and, subsequently, the oven.

And comes out crispy and warm and gorgeous.

Obviously, the brown-sugar-topped top crust is the best part of this, so kindly eat your slices from the bottom up to so as to preserve that sweet, slightly crunchy sliver of goodness for last. We’ve been eating this for breakfast for the last three days, and I’ve heard no complaints yet.

Carrot-Walnut Loaf Cake
By Breads Bakery in New York, as Printed in Bon Appétit

I didn’t have golden raisins, but regular ones seemed to perform just as well. I also found myself short one egg just as I got to that step in the recipe (26 years old and I still can’t read through a whole recipe before I start cooking it, what is to become of me?), but I found a substitute involving oil, water, and baking powder that worked remarkably well.

Yield: One 9”x5” Loaf

1 cup vegetable oil, plus more
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; plus more
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces carrots, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan. Whisk baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and 1 ¼ cups flour in a small bowl. Toss raisins, walnuts, and remaining 1 Tbsp. flour in another bowl.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With mixer running, gradually drizzle in 1 cup oil, then add vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, raisin mixture, and carrots; scrape batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 65–75 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Do Ahead: Bake up to 2 days ahead. Store wrapped at room temperature.

I was not compensated for this post. All the opinions are my own.


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