November 16, 2012

Rustic Carrot Cake Recipe

Growing up, dessert was always a much anticipated ending to the main meal in my family, from homemade cakes to plain old fruit and ice-cream. This week in an attempt to encourage dad to eat healthier sweet options, (because the truth is he's not going to forego sweets so better to accept and provide healthier options) I tested out this carrot cake recipe from 101 cookbooks which uses whole flours and natural sugar ingredients. 

Not your traditional carrot cake, I kept calling it a banana cake for a while, it's packed with dense and rich all natural ingredients. I stuck with using wheat flour, as using a gluten free option just would have been too 'strange' in dad's eyes. The natural sweetness of bananas and dates works really well, and I really like the inclusion of yoghurt and walnuts to increase protein and good oils. I made a few small changes, used half wholewheat and half white flour, replaced one of the eggs with 2 egg whites and used slightly less than 1/2 cup of dates.  Even with skipping the icing I still made a HUGE mess in the kitchen!

The result...success! Though dad did comment he could taste the absence of sugar, he enjoyed it and was very happy to eat another piece the following day.Next time I'd like to try a gluten free option using rice and amaranth flour as mentioned in the readers comments on 101 cookbooks.

Rustic Carrot Cake Recipe
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup good quality white baking flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely
110g unsalted butter, just melted
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 egg and 2 egg whites, lightly whisked 

Preheat oven to 175C. Butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan or 8x8 cake pan and line with baking paper. Sift together flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in walnuts. Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates into smaller pieces.

In a separate bowl combine bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps. Whisk in eggs and yoghurt. Add the flour mixture and stir gently until everything just mixed. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean in the centre of the cake - bake for around 45minutes if you are using the cake pan. Remove from oven and cool. Best stored in the fridge.

Makes one cake. 


  1. yum, this looks delicious! I will have to try it out sometime. x

  2. I do love carrot cake. You are so wise to accept your dad's sweet tooth won't be changing but to provide him with a more wholesome cake. Next year wholefoods chef Jude Blereau is releasing a wholefood baking book which will a great addition to all our wholefood kitchens. Your photography is lovely x

    1. Nikki I gave a little yelp of joy! when I read this...baking + Jude's food philosophy a definite winner when it comes to a cookbook dedicated to baking!


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