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This Japanese Carrot Cake Is The Perfect Not-Too-Sweet Treat

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Here's the thing: I think American carrot cake is pretty good, but it'd be much better without all that cream cheese frosting.

Seriously, it just makes the whole thing sickeningly sweet and kind of ruins it for me. (Don't @ me.)
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Seriously, it just makes the whole thing sickeningly sweet and kind of ruins it for me. (Don't @ me.)

If you're like me, I found the perfect recipe for you. It's from Japan: The Cookbook, a gorgeous new book about Japanese cooking written by Nancy Singleton Hachisu.

Phaidon, Jennifer May

It only has a handful of ingredients, not that much sugar (since carrots are already pretty sweet), and no frosting at all. It's amazing.

I swear it's one of the most delicious cakes I've ever had — it has the perfect amount of sweet, the texture is both moist and light, and the carrot flavor just perfect. I ate it all by myself in one day and didn't even feel too bad about it.
Marie Telling / BuzzFeed

I swear it's one of the most delicious cakes I've ever had — it has the perfect amount of sweet, the texture is both moist and light, and the carrot flavor just perfect. I ate it all by myself in one day and didn't even feel too bad about it.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to make it at home:

JAPANESE NO-FROSTING CARROT CAKE

Makes 2 (2 x 4-inch/5 x 10 cm) loaves

INGREDIENTS

Butter, for greasing the pan

3⁄4 cup plus 1 rounded tablespoon (41⁄2 oz/130 g) unbleached cake our, plus more as needed

5 tablespoons organic granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature, separated

6 tablespoons canola (rapeseed) oil

3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (51⁄3 oz/150 g) finely grated carrot

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C/ Gas Mark 4). Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter and flour 2 (2 x 4-inch/5 x 10 cm) loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, and sugar. Whisk the egg yolks into the oil until emulsified and whisk the mixture slowly into the flour and sugar to form a stiff batter. Stir in the carrot.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the whites until they form stiff but not dry peaks. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the carrot batter to lighten, then carefully fold the rest of the whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate the whites. Scrape the batter into the pans.

Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 20–25 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool directly on the rack. It is best the first day, but is also good for up to 2 days, wrapped well and stored at room temperature.

Adapted from JAPAN: THE COOKBOOK by Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Phaidon, $49.95 US/$59.95 CAN, April 2018)

For more delicious recipes, check out Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, which you can order here.

Get it from Amazon for $34.45, Barnes & Noble for $45.25, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.
Phaidon

Get it from Amazon for $34.45, Barnes & Noble for $45.25, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

Check out these recipes we loved this month for more delicious baked goods.

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