Bugs Bunny would go nuts for this – February 3 is National Carrot Cake Day!
Carrot cake may be one of our favorite ways to simultaneously cure sugar cravings and have a healthy (and unnoticeable) serving of vegetables.
During medieval times, carrots were used to sweeten cakes and desserts because actual sweeteners were rare and outrageously expensive. Carrots are second only to the sugar beet on the sweet vegetable scale, so our ancestors knew what they were doing.
After World War II, an excess of canned carrots hit the shelves. They weren’t selling well until the companies asked bakers to create appealing uses for the carrots, and carrot cake as we know it today was born.
The actual dessert didn’t gain widespread popularity until the 1960s when it hit restaurants and cafeterias in the U.S. in a way that only vintage fad desserts can. Except this fad stuck around, and it remains a favorite today.
Finely chopped or shredded carrots are added to a spice cake-like batter, and they soften up as the cake bakes. The cake ends up with a nice, soft texture and the carrots only enhance the flavor, rather than tasting like rabbit food.
Whether you bake it as a loaf, sheet cake, layer cake or cupcake, cream cheese icing is always the favorable way to top it off. After all, a glob of powdered sugar and cream cheese mixed together helps the carrot cake go down.
(Ashley Strickland, Special to CNN, Reporting)