Carrot Cake

“Let them eat cake”. These words are famously (and falsely, according to scholars) attributed to Marie Antoinette when she was told that the peasants of France did not have bread to eat.

Well. I’m not starving, but I am pretty ghetto. Such is the state of the world today, when even the poor can eat cake. Carrot cake, specifically. Perhaps if Marie Antoinette were alive today her words would only have been a political gaffe and not so guillotine worthy.

Before we begin, I should clarify that there are actually two items involved in this installment, the cake and the sauce (dulce de leche). The cake requires about half an hour of prep time and an hour to bake. The sauce, while not very difficult, takes approximately three hours of total time to make. Plan accordingly.


Some cakes are lies, but not all lies are cakes.

Cake (for a small pot. Double everything for a 9×13 cake pan):

2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
5/8 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
Optional chopped nuts

Dulce de Leche:

1 can condensed milk
1 clean sock*

*You don’t actually need a sock specifically. Clarified instructions below.


Part 1: Dulce de Leche

Let’s start by making dulce de leche, which takes a long time. Dulce de leche is basically made by boiling a can of condensed milk for two hours until the sugars caramelize. You will need a pot deep enough to completely contain the can while it is completely submerged in water. You will also need some form of padding between the can’s metal surfaces and the pot surface, as direct contact for long periods of time can cause your pot to rust.

Cue MacGuyver music

An old sock is my solution, as it completely covers the can and allows me to cook the can horizontally, lowering the height requirement for the pot. Stick your can into the sock and tuck the excess underneath. Place this contraption into the pot and submerge completely in water.

You can just put a sock in it.

The submersion is important because it helps equalize the pressure inside the can. If you just heat the can without submerging it, the can may explode, cause injury, and most importantly, possibly lower the reader count on my blog. Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat low, and simmer the can for two hours. You should check every 20 minutes and replenish any evaporated water.

The Bau$$ of Sau$$es

Dump the contents out of the can into a bowl or container, and stir in enough milk or water to create a smooth, creamy caramel sauce.

Part 2: Cake

Start by shredding your carrots, either with a shredder, a knife, or a food processor. You will need about three medium-large carrots to create the amount of shredded carrots necessary.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Combine all the dry ingredients together: flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder. Crack the two eggs into the dry mix and stir vigorously until almost all the flour is incorporated. Add the oil and vanilla and stir to make a thick homogenous batter. The egg yolk is the emulsifier that allows the oil to combine smoothly with everything else. Add the shredded carrots.

You ever wonder who was the first person to look at a carrot and think about how it could be worked into a cake?

Grease the bottom of the pot or pan that you are going to use. Pour the batter into the pot/pan and bake for roughly 45-60 minutes, or until a knife stuck into the cake comes out clean.

Carrot Cake

What niche craving do you think the carrot cake was meant to satisfy? All the millions of people in the world who desperately searched for a way to get their vitamin A and diabetes at the same time?

Let the cake sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving. Pour warm dulce de leche over cake slices, serve.

The Result

Cake with Sauce

Who needs bread when you have cake

4.5 / 5 The cake itself is pretty good. Aromatic, moist, though not quite dense enough for my tastes. But dulce de leche, it makes everything amazing. I almost choked myself stuffing my face full of that caramel drenched cake. You can dip everything from pretzels to fruit in that stuff. Try it over a weekend when you have some time. You won’t be disappointed.


These types of cake are really quite easy to make. The key is to pull the cake out of the oven as soon as a knife stuck into the cake comes out clean. This is an easy way to prevent the cake from becoming dry without a thermometer. I think the real challenge in cakes is in matching the appropriate type of cake with the appropriate type of cream or icing, and in the physical appearance of the cake. Hopefully I can progress onto more elaborate creations in the future.

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  1. Banana/Pudding Pastry « Food in Mind

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