Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

So, do you have canned carrots (or you could use older fresh carrots) that turned to mush and you don’t know what to do with them?  How about make a carrot cake!  I’m also thinking this may be good with canned pumpkin and/or canned sweet potato.

Update: I just made this (muffins instead of cake … baked for 15 to 20 minutes) and they are amazing!  They aren’t spike-your-blood-sugar sweet and so flavorful!  This recipe is a keeper.  I made some changes that I will note here:

  1. Replaced 1/2 cup of the flour with almond flour
  2. Replaced the remaining flour (1 cup) with 1/3 cup of wheat germ (Why?  Because I had some)
  3. Reduced the milk to 1/4 cup due to the excess liquid in my carrots
  4. Reduced the total added sweetener by half (so, 3/4 cup total), then replaced 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with Splenda
  5. Substituted all-spice for the nutmeg (Why?  Because I didn’t have any nutmeg)

Note: I had one quart of thickly cut home canned carrots and ended up with about 1 1/2 cups of mashed carrots.  I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

I may or may not make the frosting but if I do, it will be with mostly Splenda with a bit of powdered sugar (I have come to the conclusion that Splenda tends to get bitter if using a lot … mostly because I kept trying to slip some in hubby’s coffee and he immediately noticed).


For Cake:
½ cup walnuts
1 cup pureed carrots (boil just under a pound of carrots until soft; drain and cool, then puree in a food processor.)
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (be careful to avoid the white pith of the orange, it’s bitter)
½ cup raisins

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot)

Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot)

If you have ever driven outside of town, just about anywhere, you have probably seen Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot).  It is an invasive weed in so many areas that I wouldn’t suggest introducing it in your area … just find a good stand of it and harvest from there.  If you can’t find Queen Anne’s Lace in your area, just eat a carrot.  🙂

The most informative web page I have found on Queen Anne’s Lace is http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html.  It is extrememly important (as with all wild foods) to be sure you are 100% sure what you are harvesting is the plant you want to harvest.  This is especially true with Queen Anne’s Lace, since it is VERY similar to Poison Hemlock.  Go to the above link to learn how to properly identify Queen Anne’s Lace.

Brenda Nolen


Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly

Since Queen Anne’s Lace is in full flower here now, this seems like a good time to post this recipe from ‘Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook’ by Dorry Baird Narris.

The recipe calls for the commercial pectin “Sure Jell Light”, but will work with other jelly recipes (follow the sugar amounts and cooking time on package of whatever
commercial pectin you use).

Be very sure of your ID with Queen Anne’s Lace a.k.a. Wild Carrot (Daucus carrota). Its lookalikes can be lethally poisonous. Queen Anne’s Lace has a strong carroty smell,
minute hairs on the flower stalks, a single carrot-shaped tap root (usually white, not orange), and one solitary dark purple floret in the middle of the lacey white flower umbel.

  • 2 cups very firmly packed Queen Anne’s lace flowers,cut from the stems
  • 4 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 package Sure-Jell Light
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons strained lemon juice

Slosh flowers through cold water to remove bugs; drain. Cover with the boiling water, cover container, and steep for 15 min. Strain.

Measure 4 1/2 cups of the strained infusion into a large kettle. Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the Sure Jell Light, and stir it into the rest of the infusion. Bring to a full rolling boil, immediately stir in the remaining sugar, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice. Skim foam from the top o fhte jelly with a metal spoon and immediately pour into sterile jars, cover with sterile lids, and seal.

Leda Meredith


Carrots Gone Wild

Slice commercial or garden carrots into sticks or rounds. Steam until tender. Toss with butter, salt, pepper, minced wild carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace) leaves and crushed wild
carrot seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon leaves and 1/4 teaspoon seeds per serving).

The only reason I don’t use the wild carrot roots for this recipe is that they can be stringy and tough. I prefer to use the leaves and seeds as seasoning.

This was part of dinner tonight. Delicious!

Leda Meredith