Light Carrot Cake

This version of Light Carrot Cake is taken from Cook’s Illustrated, November 2006. Carrot cake is often thought of as a healthy alternative to other cakes but names can be deceiving. The problem is although carrot cake sounds healthy for its use of vegetable oil in place of butter and use of carrots as a natural sweetener, most versions of carrot cake tip the scales at 500 calories and 31 grams of fat per slice.

This Light Carrot Cake has the natural sweetness of the carrots and has reduced amount of oil and egg. In order to keep the cake light, the eggs, sugar and oil mixtures is whipped to incorporate air in it. This keeps the cake from being too dense.


This Light Carrot Cake is moist and rich without being soggy and greasy from an overabundance of fat.


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and grated (about 3 cups)

Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Classic Carrot Cake

Karen demonstrated two carrot cake recipes upon Rowena’s request If I remembered correctly. The first cake is a Classisc Carrot Cake which was popularized in the 70s. It is an era where people started to reduce the intake of meat and encourage intake of vegetables, grains and fruits. A book called “Diet for a small planet” from the 70s introduced combinations of plant proteins to make a complete protein diet.


The Classic Carrot Cake is a very rich carrot cake with lots of ingredients like crushed pineapple, flaked coconut and walnuts.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (can be reduced to 1 cup)
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raisins


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Wacky Cake

Once again, Jean demonstrated a few recipes in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. Jean was a good demonstrator as she will test the recipes which she has not try before a day before the meeting day to ensure that all things go well.

For this meeting, Jean made a Wacky Cake, some Whipped Shortbread Cookies, a Puffed Wheat Cake and Devil Eggs. All these were accomplished in two hours.


The Wacky Cake is a classic recipe from the depression era because of the rationing of butter and eggs. It is a cake without egg, milk or nut. People with allergies to such ingredients can still enjoy a piece of cake.

The name Wacky Cake probably came from the various cakes that you can make with this recipe by substituting some of the ingredients. Jean made a Spice Wacky Cake in the kitchen. She also made a Chocolate Wacky Cake the day before by substituting the 1 tablespoon of pumpkin spice with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. You can also make this into a vanilla cake by omitting the spice and double the amount of vanilla. To make an Orange Wacky Cake, omit the spice and vinegar and substitute the water with orange juice. For a Lemon Wacky Cake, omit the spice and substitute the vinegar with lemon juice and add a teaspoon of lemon extract. No wonder it is called Wacky Cake.


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Yellow Cake with Pumpkin

Minoo shared with us two recipes from the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. This book is available in Costco for about $15.


Minoo had been introducing this book to the community kitchens as it’s recipes incorporate vegetables and fruits in the puree form. In this way, kids will not know they are eating vegetables and fruits which has been masked. Having kids to eat nutritious meals is one of the biggest challenge during meal time.


This book has a chapter which covers on how to puree and freeze vegetables and fruits in small portions for convenience usage later. This is good for small families which often have to toss away rotten vegetables and fruits simply because they cant finish eating them. Puree food is also good for seniors, easy on digestion and gentle to their palate.


The Yellow Cake with Pumpkin turned out moist and had a very ‘pumpkinish’ colour. We also added some flax seeds for extra nutrients. We had extra to bring home and Arkensen finished them all.


  • 1 (18 oz) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 6 oz nonfat lemon, banana, or vanilla yogurt


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Ponderosa Cake

We made Ponderosa Cake at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for the community meal. Ponderosa Cake is a popular cake in University of British Columbia. Karen was involved with the catering at UBC long time ago and she made a lot of these Ponderosa Cake. You can still find this cake in the UBC cafeterias until today.


Karen had modified the Ponderosa Cake recipe to reduce the amount of fat and sugar for a healthier snack. She was able to maintain the sweetness by roasting the banana first.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups banana (5 to 6 banana)
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup low fat yogurt or sour cream

For topping

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

From now on, Karen will only demonstrate in the kitchen once a month. We will have members of the community kitchen to share once a month since there will be 2 meetings in a month.

Jean made a Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. It’s been a while since Jean demonstrated in the kitchen. We missed her cooking. Welcome back Jean.


This Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake is crispy on the outside and moist in the inside. I love to munch on the crispy bits left behind.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I made cup cakes using a Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe for the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen Christmas potluck. We always celebrate the last meeting of the year with a potluck party. We love to share what we learn from the kitchen in this time of celebration.


I made the Cream Cheese Pound Cake in cup cake form for easy sharing in a potluck party and also it takes shorter time to bake. In addition, I do not have a 4-quart tube pan as in the original recipe.

This is indeed a very rich cake. I love the nicely balance of sweet and salty taste of the cake. I find that portion control in very crucial during the holiday season. You can still enjoy the holiday food you love but just watch the portion size.


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened (no substitution)
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (or almond extract)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Rich White Cake

With the left over egg whites from the Bistro Pumpkin Creme Brule, Karen decided to make a Rich White Cake. We baked the cake in the form of cup cake which is easier to share among us.


This cup cake is very rich as we used all butter instead of half butter and half shortening.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (if you want to substitute the cake flour with all purpose flour, reduce 1 tablespoon of flour for every cup)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 egg whites


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Cream Cheese Frosting

While Carrot Cake can be eaten just as it is, normally it is topped with cream cheese icing. So, Karen made a Cream Cheese Frosting for her Carrot Cake. She used a peach flavour cream cheese instead of the regular one. The flavoured cream cheese is sweeter — so, you can if you want to reduce the amount of icing sugar in the recipe.


You know the consistency of the Cream Cheese Frosting is right when a spoon is sticked into the cream cheese, it stands upright without toppling.


  • 1 package (259g) of brick cream cheese, softened (Karen used those in tub)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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