It’s our friend Michael’s birthday next week and we met him and his wife for dinner last night, so what better occasion to make another cake! In the 80’s, he wrote this bestseller about the perils of genetic engineering, so that’s what I made for him in cake.

Michael loves carrot cake, so I went on a hunt for a good recipe and found it! Carrot cake is easier to make moist because of all the fresh carrots, but this one is extra good because it substitutes oil for butter and adds canned pineapple. I didn’t have too many raisins so I added some dried cranberries…..very yummy…and seasonal!

The frosting is a basic cream cheese frosting that has a great consistency for spreading.

I made this on a half sheet pan, because I was shaping it, but 2 10-inch rounds would have worked as well.

Carrot Cake

6 cups grated carrots

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup dried cranberries, or raisins, or a combination

4 (organic free-range) eggs

1 cup white sugar

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine the grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, or line with parchment, whatever cake pan you are using.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the white sugar, then the oil and vanilla. Mix in the pineapple.

In another bowl, combine the 2 flours, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir into the egg mixture until combined.

Add raisins and cranberries to the carrots, then add this and the walnuts to the cake mixture. When everything is combined, pour into cake pans.

Cooking time will depend on the pan you are using (30-50 minutes). A knife should come out clean, when it’s done.


Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract to taste

Combine everything in the mixer until there are no lumps.

Spread on the cool cake.