Author: Rebecca Lindamood (adapted from Zoe Francois of Zoe Bakes)
Recipe type: Dessert
Caramelized, deep brown, buttery pineapple crowns perfect, sweet carrot cake. Top warm pieces with vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of creme fraiche for an over-the-top indulgent treat.
Ingredients for cake batter:
1 pound finely grated then chopped carrots (see notes)
4 extra large eggs at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
1¼ cups canola oil
⅔ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one orange
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
Ingredients for pineapple caramel layer:
4 tablespoons of butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup raw (turbinado) sugar, (preferably Bourbon Vanilla Raw Sugar. Instructions on how to prepare this are available here on Foodie With Family.)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained of juice and squeezed lightly to remove more juice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
To prepare the Pineapple Caramel Layer:
Spray a bundt pan (or six individual sized bundt pans) with non-stick cooking spray.
Break off pieces of the softened butter and dot the bottom of the pan evenly. (If using mini bundt pans, divide the butter evenly between them.)
Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the butter. (Again, if using the individual bundt pans, divide the sugar evenly between the pans.)
Evenly distribute the pineapple over the sugar.
To prepare the Carrot Cake batter:
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated and brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract and orange zest.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon until there are no more pockets of dry ingredients.
Add the carrots all at once and fold into the batter.
Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan(s). The batter should rise no higher than ⅔ of the way up the pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes for mini-bundt pans or 60-70 minutes for a regular bundt pan, or until a straw inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (If using mini pans, test each cake.)
Let the cake rest in the pan(s) for five minutes before turning onto a serving platter.
For best flavour, serve while still warm.
Zoe Francois suggested coarsely grating the carrots in the food processor then chopping them with the blade a bit. I opted to grate my carrots on the fine-grating disc in my food processor followed by pulsing them with the blade for a finer texture to the carrots in my cake. This accomplished two things. It made it a far easier sell for the anti-vegetable gruesome twosome in my house in addition to creating a lighter textured end product.
I liked the fine texture so much that I'll carry on doing it this way long after the gruesome twosome comes out of this veg phobic phase.
Recipe by Foodie With Family at http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/05/18/pineapple-upside-down-carrot-cake/