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North American Desserts: The Carrot Cake

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…

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