Make Ahead

Donna Hay's Food Processor Carrot Cake

January 19, 2016
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This cake, which comes from Australian food stylist, magazine editor, and cookbook author Donna Hay is a peacekeeper between the two camps of carrot cake: those chockfull-o'stuff and those where the carrots are barely there. Here, the carrot is present in discernible flecks, neither intrusive nor invisible. The nuts contribute to—rather than disrupt from—the texture as a whole (to continue with our road image, the nuts are speed limit signs, not roadblocks). The cake is moist but not spineless; it's still got a crumb you'll need to chew. And there are no raisins.

I'd make this cake even if it necessitated standing at the counter with my box grater for 20 minutes, reducing each carrot to a little nub. But, perhaps the very best part of the recipe is that it does not, because the entire thing is made in the food processor, which happens to mix together the ingredients to just the right consistency.

The original recipe calls for "1 1/2 cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour." I used 225 grams (and, in my calculations that is closer to 2 cups than to 1 1/2 cups)—but Lauren Locke, our VP of sales, made the cake with 1 1/2 cups (and half the sugar!) with great success. —Sarah Jampel

  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 10 to 12
  • For the cake:
  • 400 grams carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 120 grams pecans or walnuts (1 cup)
  • 175 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 110 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 225 grams all-purpose flour (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 100 grams vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 70 grams Greek yogurt (1/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds of
  • For the frosting:
  • 250 grams cream cheese, chopped and softened
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) fresh ricotta
  • 1/3 cup (55 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds of
In This Recipe
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, process the carrots and nuts until finely chopped.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and process, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until combined
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until just cooked when tested with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the pan before turning out and frosting.
  1. For the frosting:
  2. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

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