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.
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 & Apple Cake
- 175 g (about 1 1/4 cups) whole wheat flour (or spelt flour if you prefer)
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp fresh finely grated nutmeg
- 60 g sunflower seed oil
- 70 g muscovado
- 50 g unrefined cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp 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)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl.
- In the bowl, beat together oil, sugars, eggs and apricot jelly (I actually do it manually).
- Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.
- Stir in the carrots, apple and nuts using a spatula.
- Pour the batter in a well greased rectangular (10×4 inches) or circular (8.5 inches diameter) cake pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
42 thoughts on “spiced carrot and apple cake”
Hello nice bloog
thank you so much! x
Sounds as a great combination! I have just prepared carrot cake with pumpkin and will definitely try with apple next time! 🙂 Thank you for inspiration!
This cake was so moist! I loved the carrot and apple combination, and the crunch of the pecans. I used my homemade peach jam as I didn’t have apricot preserve, not sure if I really tasted it though, think I might replace with raisins next time. I had preserved apple sauce on hand so used that instead of apples, ended up having to bake it for 15 minutes longer. Thanks for this yummy recipe!
Glad you enjoyed it. The preserve lends a hand in making it moist, though I like the idea of using raisins as well. Glad that it worked out with apple sauce, I will keep this in mind next time I have some apple sauce that needs to be used up.
The photos are amazing, carrot and apple cake sounds very delicious and creative 😄
This sounds so good! I have never really used Apricot Preserves in anything before so that will be interesting! Thanks for sharing!
I did similar cake a while ago,but it definitely didn’t look as good as yours. Beautiful pictures!
Oh my goodness, this looks deelicious! And your photography is insane!
Thank you so much!
This is so nice! Your post is charming and I love the recipe.
This is such a pretty little cake. I loved your idea of making it into a layer cake with a bit of brandy, too! 🙂
Thank you so much Denise!
I can’t wait to try your recipe, Annika. I loved the idea of making it into a layer cake with a touch of brandy, too.
Such a lovely cake!
I love adding apple to cakes 😀
Great looking cake, Annika. Lovely 🙂
Thank you Priya!
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.
Thank you Tracey. Likewise, I am saving your spring/summer recipes! This cake is a must try!
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
Thank you Betty. Hydrangeas dry so well, it’s hard not to want to use them as decor or even food photography!
Beautiful post – and lovely pictures, as always!
Thank you Jasmine!
Sometimes I can’t decide if I want to make apple cake or carrot cake. Well, I guess I don’t have to. Love your photos, too!
Problem solved! Thank you as well!
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!
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!
Such a great looking loaf! I usually add applesauce to my carrot cake, but love the idea of adding grated apples as well. Will keep it in mind for next time! 🙂
Thank you Ronit. I would love to try an applesauce version. Sometimes, I have leftover applesauce and am always looking for new recipes to try with it.
You can check this link for my version. Hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂
Thank you! I most certainly will!
What a lovely post 🙂 and cake as well. Seeing beauty in everything is so fundamental 🙂
Thank you! I love how beautifully these flowers dry.
I would not have thought of combining carrots with apples in a cake but this sounds delicious and your photos are simply stunning Annika😊
Thank you Marisa! The original recipe comes to me via my husband’s grandmother.
Sounds delicious. Would love to try it out!
Thank you so much. Do give it a try!