CAKE! – carrot streusel

See this cake?

It’s a carrot streusel cake.

It’s pretty much an awesome cake.

When I tried to find a carrot cake recipe a while back I found a lot of oil, raisins, and cream cheese frosting. Hell yes to the frosting – thanks but no thanks to the oil and the ridiculous invention of raisins.

I looked through some old recipes and found a carrot cake that used 1/4 oil and a substitute of 1/2 c applesauce. I remembered it wasn’t the best carrot cake but it was decent. In a few of the recipes, there was a nice addition of crushed pineapple and I decided to use that instead of the applesauce, and replaced the oil with some melted butter. I tweaked (a creepy/equally funny word) some other ingredients and impressed myself.

I know I said hell yes to the frosting, but I wanted something different, and I decided to go with a streusel topping. Usually there’s a bunch of butter and sugar. Now there’s still quite a bit of sugar but instead of butter, there’s cream cheese, old fashioned oats, and flour added. It’s a nice change of pace and it makes it ok to eat a slice of cake for breakfast, although frosting wouldn’t stop me.

The great things about this cake?

6 T melted butter
1 1/2 c sugar, including the sugar for the streusel
3 heaping cups of carrots go into this, and I’m guessing zucchini would also work. And come fall time, there will be an attempt with apples and possibly some more spices, so, watch out for that.

Some helpful tips

When making a cake that has add-ins like carrots, zucchini, or chocolate chips, toss it with the dry ingredients before the wet are added. This acts as insurance, helping the add-ins stay mixed in the cake and not sinking to the bottom.

When mixing the wet ingredients don’t stand over the bowl. The combination of buttermilk, pineapple, and melted butter will most likely make you drool, and that would be gross if it ended up in the cake.

This cake is moist and dense, as you can see in the picture, very much like a muffin, so it is important you don’t get super excited and take it out of the oven before it cooks completely. It takes at least 40 min, probably closer to 50 and the knife test works well.

Speaking of muffin, somebody should make these into muffins and let me know how it all went down.

When making the streusel in a food processor use the pulse button, it is your best friend. If you’re awesome like me and just blast the on button and then space out, you’ll get more of a clump that you have to break up instead of a lighter streusel that can cover a little easier.

If you do want some frosting and you want the fastest frosting imaginable mix one container marshmallow fluff and 8oz cream cheese until light and fluffy. No measuring, but there are a few no no ingredients.

and lastly – make sure you have people to share it with. If not you will devour the entire thing almost all by yourself in a little over 24 hours. tastes bueno, it’s just the giant cake boulder in your stomach that’s no bueno.

No more procrastinating, let’s make some cake.

Carrot Streusel Cake
makes a 9×13 cake

2 c all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 c cornstarch*
1 T baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 c shredded carrots, about 3 regular size or 2 megatron
1/2 c chopped walnuts

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c buttermilk
2 t vanilla
6 T melted, and slightly cooled, butter
1/2 c crushed pineapple

Streusel topping:
3 oz cream cheese, straight from the fridge or, better yet, the freezer
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c old fashioned oats
2 T all-purpose unbleached flourĀ 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add in the carrots and walnuts.

In another bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients.

Before you combineĀ  the wet and dry in all their glory, use a food processor – pulsing – to combine all of the streusel ingredients until the cream cheese is about the size of peas – think pie crust.

Combine the wet and dry and mix just until combined, pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan and evenly distribute the streusel on the top.

Bake for 40-50 min or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

* the cornstarch flour mixture is sort of a quazi cake flour. It’s a good substitute when there’s enough spice or flavor in the cake, but if the cake is just a plain yellow, sometimes there’s a slight corn flavor that comes through.