What's so Southern about Carrot Cake?

Hey there! How about some baking with part-time working mom? Yes, really!

I am not a food blogger, mainly because it bugs me to wash my hands after every step so I can take a picture without ruining my camera. Also I don't invent recipes. I find them on the net, try them out, adapt them. Plus I think in grams, not cups, and looking up ingredients with different densities confuses me eternally. 

However, I committed to contribute to my friend Spatulas On Parade's new project, the Southern Special. Of course I only have a cliché in mind of what "Southern" even means. It involves a rocking chair on a porch, *corn bread and friendly people who say "y'all". 

My FB friend Alyssa who moved from Chicago to Charlotte last year, allowed me to use her picture. Thanks so much! I think it confirms my idea perfectly:

As a European, Southern Cuisine would definitely mean Italian and French food and beverage wine. Olive oil, rosemary, tomatoes, these kinds of things. But Dawn assured me I was welcome to join anyway. 

So here I am, giving you fool proof step by step carrot cake instructions!

Usually a recipe starts with preheat oven - not today, though. I don't know about you, but I am not that quick an egg white beater and carrot peeler and grater. So bear with me. 

We'll start with the mise-en-place aka get your stuff ready. This is really important. 
Prevents you from racing to the store to buy a forgotten ingredient!



5 egg yolks
250g sugar (1.25 cups)
250g carrots, grated (2.75 cups)
250g hazelnut, ground (1.8 cups)
1 lemon, zest and juice
80g flour (0.65 cups)
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 egg whites, beaten
1 pinch of salt


125g confectioner's sugar (1 cup)
4 teaspoons lemon juice (I just went ahead and used the juice of one small lemon)


40 - 50 minutes in a 180°C (350°F) preheated oven

Here are some links I used to convert measurements:
Allrecipes, Traditional OvenChocolate and ZucchiniMetric Conversions


First let's do veggies! Peel and shred your carrots. 
I started out with these three bad boys, but ended up using four.

Grate the zest of a lemon, then squeeze it and pour the  juice over the carrots.

At this point you want to preheat your oven at 180°C = 350°F 

Go ahead and divide the eggs, cover the whites and store them in the fridge.

Now beat the yolks until they are frothy, add sugar and lemon zest and beat some more.  

Now add the carrots and the ground hazelnut, mix well

Until it looks like this

Now we add the flour / baking powder mixture. I don't sift, but you can do it if it makes you feel better! By the way, this is a measuring pitcher, but I prefer using a baking scale.

Now on to the egg whites - Colin's favorite part! 

Beat them real stiff! Then fold them into the batter.

Pour the batter into your baking pan - you can even use a muffin pan if you like. 
Actually, for this amount of batter you would need two of each!

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes (about 35 minutes if you make muffins) - test with a toothpick!

Then comes the hard part: let them cool on a rack for at least an hour! 
I'm serious, keep your fingers to yourself! Just leave the kitchen, do something else, check FB and email, work on your blog, call a friend! Do laundry if you must!

Then carefully remove the cake from the pan and put it on a plate.

Make the icing and cover your cake. 

This can go well or not so well, depending on how accurate and patient you are. 
Today it turned out pretty neat.

Other times I just poured the whole lemon juice into the icing sugar, and well, it was too much. The icing was runny, but I didn't want to add more sugar, so it turned out a bit translucent. No big deal, though. They went fast anyway!

Now I hope you'll give this a try! Let me know how it turned out, send me a picture, too!

If you liked this. I mean, really, really liked this, I could be convinced to do a corn bread  post. Or a lasagna post. No glass, promise!

A word to the recipe. I didn't invent it. There are plenty on the internet, I used the one from a traditional cookbook. Betty Bossi is the Swiss Martha Stewart. Only Betty doesn't exist. I was devastated when I found out! I always, always imagined her with an apron on! Turns out it's just a team of cooking and baking pros. But they do know what they're doing!