As promised, here’s the carrot cake recipe! This is a recipe from my Da Nai Nai, which is our Chinese name for my grand aunt. She lives on the east coast, and my family used to go there every summer for a week to visit her. We haven’t gone for a couple years, but my mom reminded me of this carrot cake she used to make that we all enjoyed in years past. My mom is allergic to tropic fruits, and since most carrot cakes have pineapples and pineapple juice in them, they don’t really work out for her. However, this carrot cake is made with simple ingredients, and it is quite tasty!
This is not your average carrot cake. It’s not super dense or sweet, and it does not have cream cheese frosting. Blasphemy, I know, but I still love it! Perhaps it’s just because it brings back good memories of my childhood, but I love this carrot cake. It’s as close as I’m going to get to baked treats from grandma, since my grandmother who lived near me growing up never baked. There is a lot of oil in this cake, giving it a very moist, but light and fluffy crumb, and it has a very buttery, carrot-y flavor to it. It’s a breeze to whip together, and makes two 9×9 pans. However, the recipe is easily halved. You could also bake it in 8×8 pans for a thicker cake, or even a 9×5 loaf pan for more of a carrot cake quickbread. Without further ado, here’s the recipe!
Makes 2 9×9 pans
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease 2 9×9 or 8×8 pans, or 2 9×5 loaf pans.
Beat together the oil and sugar until thoroughly combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the half the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine, then add the other half. Add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the carrots and pecans, if using. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. If you are baking it in loaf pans, the baking time will probably be increased to 40-50 minutes, but make sure to check after 30 just to make sure you don’t overbake them. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!