Italian Carrot Bundt Cake (Torta di Carote). Forget nuts, raisins, coconut, and rich frostings. This is a simple Italian cake that is all about carrots. Moist, mildly sweet, with a lovely orange hue and orange flavor, this cake is popular in Italy at breakfast, snack, or light dessert any time of the year.
Song of the day: Everglow – Coldplay
I’ve read somewhere that Carrot Cake is very peculiar to Easter, but no, I am not late to the game. In Italy, Easter and Carrot Cake don’t necessarily go in the same sentence.
What’s an Italian Carrot Cake?
Maybe, once you’ll read the ingredients, or perhaps just looking at the picture, you might say “This is not a carrot cake!”. And you might be true, in the sense that it does lack all the intrinsic ingredients you are used to finding in a carrot cake made this side of the ocean.
So what’s in an Italian Carrot Cake? Well, our love for simple and genuine ingredients shows also in this cake that is all about carrots. Not shredded carrots, but carrots that are done in a food processor with vegetable oil and some orange flavoring, like orange juice and zest, or Arancello liquor in my case.
TIP: You need to get those carrots nice and creamy. They will add a fantastic lightness and moistness to the cake, not to mention the flavor and lovely hue.
The other ingredients of this Italian Carrot Bundt Cake (Torta di Carote).
Other than carrots, the other ingredients are almost the same as many other Italian cakes: flour, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, a pinch of salt. I told you, simple and unfussy.
TIP: Beat the eggs and the sugar for a few minutes until frothy, this will give the cake a nice airy, light texture.
Gently add the carrot cream to the egg/sugar mixture, then lastly fold the sifted flour/salt/baking powder. I added a pinch of cinnamon although cinnamon is rarely used in Italian desserts.
I followed the recipe my co-worker Titti gave me and it’s a recipe from her aunt. The only thing is that like in most Italian recipes I had to “translate” it from vague glasses (wine, water glasses, tall, short glasses? We had no idea, lol) to actual measurements, before posting it. And yes, I added cinnamon and the glaze.
Bundt pan or cake pan?
I opted for the bundt pan, because I have a mild “obsession” for them, lol. But this cake is mostly baked in a round springform pan, 9-inch (22-24 cm). Do as you most please.
To ice it or not to ice it?
If I was in Italy and I was making this cake for my Italian family’s consumption, I would have just dusted the top with powdered sugar. But I am back to Canada and the environment plays a big role in my cooking/baking. Here, the perfect finishing to a cake is icing or frosting. Plus, Loreto really loves it.
So, a no brainer, icing it is. In the fridge there was sour cream, so my icing is going to be a sour cream icing. If I had cream cheese I would have probably used that. Sour cream, vanilla extract, and icing (powdered) sugar. To your desired thickness. I kept it a little runny because the thought of adding more icing sugar to thicken it was making me cringe a little…
Italian Carrot Bundt Cake (Torta di Carote) is a lovely end to dinner, but it also works well with your morning espresso or afternoon tea. It is the type of cake you can feel comfortable to give to your kids, and they will surely love it. The kid in Loreto found it amazing and we enjoyed it both at breakfast and as dessert (although I found myself scraping the icing out. I’m weird eh?)
Loreto’s take on the cake………
I love this cake. It has this rich yet light flavor and the moistness is incredible. The way the carrots color the inside all the way out and how that texture just melts like butter in your mouth is truly amazing. I am a kid at heart and not a dunker. However, love to take a bite, then a sip of coffee and let those flavors play in my mouth melting together to make a luxurious blend of taste and texture! As for the icing, it was just right, balanced, not too sweet. Could I have done without? I could have but my motto is “Live a Little”!
Amazing job once again amore!!!!!
P.s. Today is Loreto’s birthday, but this cake is not the cake I made to celebrate how much I love him. I am actually making a layer cake, me, can you believe it?. I told him it will be somewhat healthy, though. I hope I’ll do a good job. He deserves an amazing cake for his birthday. So stay tuned, you don’t want to miss that!
Song of the day: Everglow – ColdplayPrint
Italian Carrot Bundt Cake (Torta di Carote). Forget nuts, raisins, coconut, and rich frostings. This is a simple Italian cake that is all about carrots. Moist, mildly sweet, with a lovely orange hue, this cake is popular in Italy at breakfast, snack, or light dessert any time of the year.
- 3 medium carrots (270 g)
- 150 g (2/3 cup) vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 Tbsp Arancello liquor (or organic orange juice and zest)
- 3 eggs, organic, free-range, at room temperature
- 160 g brown sugar
- 240 g flour type 00
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 16 g (1 packet) baking powder
Sour cream icing (optional):
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- icing sugar (about 1 cup)
- Preheat the oven at 350°F (180°C).
- In the bowl of a food processor, blend the carrots, then add the Arancello liquor and the oil. Continue to blend until you have a nice smooth orange cream.
- Using a handheld mixer and a bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar for about 2 minutes until they are light and fluffy.
- Add the carrot cream and stir with a spatula.
- Add the flour sifted with the cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and fold gently but thoroughly.
- Grease and flour a bundt pan and pour the mixture in.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer (or cake tester) inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack.
- You can serve it with a dusting of icing sugar or make a sour cream icing.
Sour cream icing:
- In a bowl mix the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add a tablespoon of icing sugar at a time while keeping stirring until you reach the desired thickness.
You can bake the cake in a 9-inch (22-24 cm) springform pan.
If you omit the icing, this cake is dairy free and nut free.
It lasts 3-4 days in a dome cake stand at room temperature.