spiced carrot and apple cake

In the midst of a Canadian winter, the beauty of dead hydrangeas is a reminder of what was and what’s to come.

Past mid-February, here in the Northern hemisphere, we are just one month away from spring equinox. Even though the amount by which sunrise and sunset change each day is now perceivable  and though the days are becoming noticeably longer, here in Montréal, our streets are lined with huge banks of snow. Playing outside with my youngest this weekend, I couldn’t help notice that there are still a few dried flower heads on my hydrangea tree lurking above the two feet of snow on our front yard -a reminder that far below the lifeless sheet of snow and ice, comfortably and patiently, life awaits.
Spiced Carrot and Apple Cake | conifères & feuillus

Dried Hydrangeas | conifères & feuillus
Present day, we are spoiled with easy access to produce from the world over year round. However, if we choose to eat seasonably, as the early inhabitants here had to do, these wintry months mean relying on what is stored and preserved and even, doing without.  But nevertheless, if we choose wisely, great things can be achieved even when we make do. Made with fall harvested, cold room staples, apples and carrots, and pantry items such as apricot preserve, spices and nuts, this cake is a good example of exactly that. Well enjoyed year round but perfect when all there is are dried hydrangeas to remind us of what was, while we, comfortably and patiently, wait for what’s to come.
Spiced Carrot and Apple Cake | conifères & feuillus
Spiced Carrot and Apple Cake | conifères & feuillus

Spiced Carrot & Apple Cake

  • 1 1/4 whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fresh finely grated nutmeg
  • 60 ml sunflower seed oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserve
  • 100 g (or about 1 cup) finely grated carrots
  • 75 g (or about 1/2 apple) Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or hazelnuts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together oil, sugars, eggs and apricot jelly.
  4. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Stir in the carrots, apple and nuts using a spatula.
  6. Pour the batter in a well greased rectangular (10×4 inches) or circular (8.5 inches diameter) cake pan.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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35 thoughts on “spiced carrot and apple cake

  1. Great, Annika! Reminding us of what was and what’s to come, seeking beauty everywhere, even in dried -still gorgeous- hydrangea flowers and in underappreciated carrots and apples. This is my kind of cake, simple beauty!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you both! I, too, love simplicity especially for the everyday… but don’t be fooled, it is quite delicious and can be dressed up for special occasions. For New Year’s this year, we made this cake as a layer cake with frosting and a hint of brandy!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoy your blogs. I feel as I am there in your yard in Montreal. Love the hydrangea comparison. I too have dead hydrangea heads poking they’re dried heads out which I’ve utilized in my blog posts. I too cannot wait for spring life to return. Xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Absolutely stunning photos, Annika. I’ve been storing away my favourites from your winter recipes to make when our weather starts cooling down (can’t wait to make your split pea pigeon soup!) This cake is definitely being added to the list. Carrot cake is one of my favourites but I love the idea of adding apple.

    Liked by 1 person

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