Let’s take a trip in the way-way-way-back machine. Okay, not that far back, I wasn’t born in the olden days. Well, not in my opinion, but don’t ask anyone under the age of 20…they can’t be trusted with age questions.
My grandmother made a cake for special occasions. My favorite was when she would make it around my birthday. I absolutely love me some carrot cake, but to my knowledge, my grandmother or my mom ever made one. Instead we had Beet and Carrot cake, the proper pronunciation of which is “beaten carrot cake”. Ask anyone in my family. We are wanted for vegetable abuse in 6 counties. Its a simple oil cake, made with of course grated carrots, pecans, flour and sugar, but we added beets to it. That’s the way to eat your beets. Not in a salad, not boiled next to your soggy peas, and definitely not by themselves. No, they need some help, and now we gave it to them. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are really there for color, because (and I swear on my kitchen aid) you can’t even taste them. Well, you can, but they don’t taste like beets.
This cake would come out nice and moist, and then two layers stacked on top of each other with a generous amount of coconut frosting (which is basically the same frosting you would put on German chocolate cake, minus the nuts), sealing in all that moist goodness. I would fight any one of you for the last slice, and my fork is fast, so be ready!
I was hungry this morning, so I thought I would make some muffins, but I didn’t know what kind I should make, and while browsing my favorite Pinterest boards, kept seeing a lot of Morning Glory Muffin recipes. “Hmm, I wonder how that cake would come out in muffin tins?” I asked myself. Well, I was a little worried, because we all know how when you take a regular cake batter and bake it in muffin cups, they tend to come out a bit dry. But what they hay, lets give it a shot. I had everything I needed but the beets, and luckily beets are everywhere right now, and relatively inexpensive (one big one is more than plenty). So I went about grating carrots, and my lonely beet (wearing gloves, I think everyone should take care of their hands, and pink is not my color), and got to work mixing. I thought I was going to have leftover batter, because I only have two 6-cup muffin pans, and once this cake batter sits, its going to deflate (the cake baked for an hour or longer, so who knows how long til i could get the muffins cooled and out of the cups to try and bake a second batch!), so I went all out and filled the cups to the top
GASP!. I know what you experienced muffin and cupcake bakers are thinking right about now. But let me just say, I was thinking it too. Was In for disaster? would my muffins rise and wet batter drip all over my clean oven???
Nope. They rose nicely, and made those nice muffin tops (the non skinny jeans variety), with a slightly crisp edge, but a tender crumb that stayed good and moist. Success! On the first try! Horn tooting a-plenty went on, I even did a little jig (no twerking…that would have been scary). I never get things right on the first go, so let me bask in my own
glory success for a minute.
Okay, enough basking in my own glow of baking serendipity. After taking my first bite of these, with a good pat of softened butter on smeared on for good measure, I skipped right back twenty years (or more…I can’t be certain, it was a long time ago) to my grandma’s kitchen. I didn’t even make the frosting. Muffins don’t have frosting (in my world anyway), and it would be breakfast overkill.
So here we go, go make these this morning. They keep for a week in a airtight container, and they are great to take to the office instead of doughnuts.
- 1-1/2 cups (290 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (210 grams) vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup (100 grams) grated carrots
- 1 cup (100 grams) grated beets
- 2 cups ( 285 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp (2 grams) ground cinnamon
- 2-1/2 tsp (6 grams) baking powder
- 1 cup (120 grams) chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until light, add sugar and oil, beating to combine.
- Sift together the rest of the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix, stir until combined (batter will be stiff).
- Add grated carrots and beets, nuts, and vanilla extract. fold until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to medium stiff peaks.
- Gently fold egg whites into the batter, until just combined ( a little streak of white in your batter will be ok).
- Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray, or lining with paper liners.
- Fill cups to top, and transfer to oven.
- Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes, rotating pan after about 20 minutes.
- Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.
- Store in airtight container.