For the first "official" cake of the cake club I was asked by several people to make a carrot cake. My least favorite cake except for maybe fruit cake. But, since I've never made it and never liked it I thought it would be a good chance to try my hand at it and hopefully like my own creation. This was not the case. Everyone else seemed to love it though!
The cake batter however was delicious (yes, I ALWAYS try it) and I felt hopeful that my opinion would change despite the large chunks of walnuts (I hate nuts in desserts) and mostly cream cheese, cream cheese frosting (not a favorite to say the least). It was fun to make though, especially piping the carrots on top, even though I completely winged that. The first couple were a little askew and I should probably have piped the leaves but didn't feel like washing the pastry bag twice. It's a complete hassle.
I thought it was interesting though that the carrot cake came about during the Middle Ages because carrots, beets, and other "sweet" vegetables and fruits were used as a way to sweeten the cake when refined sugar supplies were low or too costly. Another fascinating anthropological fact is that carrots were first used and cultivated in the 7th century AD in Afghanistan and were purple instead of orange! Eating a cake with so much beta carotene justifies it enough for me. If I was to make this cake for myself, which I tried to suppress the desire to do this this time, I would have cut the walnuts way down so they were barely even chunks and used buttercream (my favorite!) instead of cream cheese frosting. I would probably still leave in the whole lemon's worth of zest though. It was a nice touch and added a bit of tartness to counter the sugar. If you like carrot cake this was a good one. If you don't, it probably doesn't matter if it was good or not. I still may never come around. Vegetables in cake? No thanks.
Made Collin a couple cupcakes from the batter. They may have turned out better. Less chunks of walnuts.
Photos by Collin Monda