Sunday, May 8, 2011

Carrot-Oat Cake

I love dessert, and any day that includes some sort of indulgence is all the better for it in my opinion. Like the cookies I made last week, this cake is a way to indulge my sweet tooth but still sneak in some quality nutrition along the way. This cake is flavorful, moist, and everything I want in a snack during my morning break at work, but also healthy enough for breakfast or sweet enough for dessert.  If you're concerned about the amount of sugar in this recipe from the 1 cup of maple syrup (or simply don't want to use so much an expensive ingredient), substitute half of the maple syrup with unsweetened applesauce; honey could also be used in lieu of the maple syrup, also in combination with applesauce, if desired. Personally, I'm a sucker for anything with (real) maple syrup so I wouldn't want to subtract any of that wonderful maple flavor and aroma from this cake. Taking a few minutes to savor a cup of tea, this delicious cake, and a bit of calm goes a long way to breaking up the work day and keeping my sanity when things get hectic.

Carrot-Oat Cake
from Whole Foods
makes one 9x9-inch cake

Natural cooking spray
1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dried currants
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly oil a (9-inch) square baking pan with cooking spray and set it aside.

2. Pulse oats and walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well. In a second large bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, currants, coconut and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool before cutting into squares.

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