A Yummy Lemon Carrot Cake

Yummy Lemon Carrot Cake photo copyright 2015 Alex R
Yummy Lemon Carrot Cake
photo copyright 2015 Alex R

When I moved to North America, it was to go to a boarding school to complete high school. My roommate’s mother made us mouth-watering cakes on each of our visits to her home. I fell in love with her carrot cake and still have that index card with the recipe on it, in my teenage handwriting. I have made slight modifications to the recipe like substituting yogurt for some of the oil and using light cream cheese and more icing sugar in the frosting.

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I also make the cake in 2 eight inch round pans instead of 3 because I only own 2 round pans! I use a third pan – a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. We eat the loaf cake as soon as it gets out of the oven, or I ice it for a quick family dinner dessert. The cake is so good that my kids would think I was cruel if I made a big round cake for someone else and didn’t make something for them!

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The original recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of oil but I use about 1 cup of oil and a ½ cup of yogurt. I find that the cake is lighter tasting and tastes healthier.

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The icing recipe calls for 8 oz of cream cheese. I use light cream cheese which means you may have to use more icing sugar to harden the icing. I also add some water to make it easier to whip. You can add chopped walnuts to the icing, but I don’t. I use walnuts to decorate the top of the cake.

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Finally, my daughter asked me to make her a lemon cake for her birthday this year and I could not find a recipe that I thought would be moist enough. I scoured the Internet and eventually found some lemon carrot cake recipes. I was inspired by the recipes and ended up simplifying things by just adding lemon zest to the batter and lemon zest and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the icing. I did not want to mess with the tried and true carrot cake recipe that I had been using! The cake was delicious.

One friend I consulted cleverly suggested I put lemon drop candies on the cake to show that it was lemon-tasting. I have done that as well as used some orange and green sprinkles to suggest carrots as well.

So, that’s the history of this mixed-up lemon carrot cake. Thanks, Mrs. P, and thanks, Melissa. Let me know what you all think if you try this. Of course, if you want just a plain carrot cake, just omit the lemon zest…

Now, that’s sweet!!

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Photo Copyright 2015 Alex R

Lemon Carrot Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Canola Oil
½ cup yogurt (anywhere from 1-3.25%)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups grated raw carrots
Zest of one to two lemons

Method:

Mix eggs, oil, yogurt, and sugar well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated fully.
Add carrots and mix until blended.
Pour into 3 greased and floured 8 inch round pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons water
4 cups icing sugar
Zest of one to two lemons

Method:
Beat butter and cream cheese and lemon zest until fully blended. Add 3 cups icing sugar as well as the vanilla and water while beating. Add the remaining 1 cup of icing sugar. Frost cake and refrigerate until firm.  You can decorate the cake with lemon slices cut into quarters.

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3 thoughts on “A Yummy Lemon Carrot Cake

  1. The cake looks beautiful! You might also try adding a drop of pure lemon essential oil to the canola oil and save time juicing and zesting the lemons! Try to get organic essential oils if you can.

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