The defining trait these cake sisters share is, of course, the carrots, which bring moisture and sweetness to both. Neither requires much effort or forethought, and both are deeply, sweetly comforting. But the delivery method in this one—which I found by way of pastry chef, blogger, and Youtube star Danielle Noce—is much, much different.
In this carrot cake style—traditional in homes across Brazil—whole chunks of raw carrot go straight into the blender with eggs, oil, and sugar and quickly dissolve into a colorful batter.
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Carrots are much wimpier than you'd expect! There isn't a shred of solid matter left, even in low-tech blenders—just a smooth liquid that bakes into a downy, naturally orange-tinted pound cake without having to pre-grate (or even peel) a thing.
On Noce's baking blog, I Could Kill For Dessert—the biggest sweets site in Brazil—she's published a number of slightly different versions handed down from various family members. All of them are written in Portuguese, but with the help of Google Translate, I adapted and tested the one from her mother-in-law.
(That's how simple this recipe is: Even with a few direct translation hiccups—I did have to make the leap from "powder drink" to "baking powder"—there were few places to go astray.)
Although cream cheese frosting would taste just fine here (there are few places it wouldn’t), this sunny puff of a cake is instead hugged with a shiny dark chocolate ganache, offsetting the gentle sweetness with bitter and rich flavors instead of creamy tang.
It's a comforting, not-too-sweet any-day cake, but it's also accidentally perfect for Halloween. Boo, naturally.
7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, in 1/2-inch (1.3cm) slices
Photos by Julia Gartland
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]. Thank you to my dear friend and Anita's Coconut Yogurt founder/genius Anita Shepherd for this one.
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."