North American Desserts: The Carrot Cake

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Carrot Cake, Fresh Out of the Oven, Ottawa, May 2012

I grew up eating croissants and pains au chocolat and I really missed my buttery pastries when I first moved to Canada. Besides, at first, the most popular desserts here seemed strange to me, starting with the ubiquitous carrot cake.

When I first heard of something called a carrot cake, my first reaction was “why on earth would you spoil a cake with carrots?”

Turned out that carrot cakes don’t really taste of carrots, and I quickly got addicted.

I’m not your typical cordon bleu French cook, but I tend to stay away from supermarket bakeries because the lists of ingredients they use scare me. So once in a while, I bake. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated: I usually follow recipes loosely (seriously, who has all the ingredients on hand?) and hope for the best.

Today, I was craving carrot cake, so I made my own. Or rather, a “light” version of it—I’m not a huge fan of the sugary frosting, the most popular topping.


  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • A drip of honey (didn’t have any fancy spices on hand)
  • One cup diced dry apricots
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Little bit of low-fat milk

Combined all the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients. Mix well (if the mix if too thick, add some milk or water—I added milk). Bake for 40 minutes at 350°.

Et voilà! Turned out to be pretty good.

The only issue now is that the house smells like a bakery…


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I love carrot cake – western anc chinese style. Not sure when you were here, did you go to the hawker centre and try our version of carrot cake? White or with dark sauce. It is savoury and not like a cake.

    Thanks for the recipe 😀

  2. Never considered the concept of carrot cake odd until you pointed it out. 🙂
    Try banana bread next – lots of easy recipes on the Internet and a great way to use up bananas that have gone brown.

  3. Ooh I love carrot cakes!!! And banana cakes. And choc brownies. Yum.

    Your recipe sounds so simple – only two lines of steps! I like that! 😀

  4. LOL, you’re not the only one that found carrot cake to be strange. Carlos still thinks it’s weird but it is one of my favorites. I could also live without the cream cheese frosting that’s usually on it – it’s good without, almost like carrot bread or carrot muffins 😉

    What do you think of desserts that use zucchini? LOL. That’s another one Carlos is weirded out by but I love.

    • I love zucchini as a veggie so it felt less weird to eat zucchini bread for some reason. I make it quite often as well, but yeah, it was one of these cultural differences moments as well!

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