School's back in session, and young minds are engaged in reading, writing and arithmetic to such a degree that they could use a break.
Cooking is the perfect solution, especially on rainy days.
Below you'll find a kid-friendly carrot cake recipe developed by Associated Press Food Editor J.M. Hirsch. He developed the recipe specifically with kids in mind — both in making and consuming it.
This recipe takes into account the interest and patience of children, as well as their nutritional needs. And by surrounding a vegetable with sweet flavor, it might be a way to soften some of the fear that clouds children's eyes when they hear the “V” word.
Hirsch said in his original column: The result was an indulgence packed with whole grains, vegetables and mostly healthy fats. And the toughest part of the assembly is the grating of the carrots, which older children should be able to handle.
You don't have to be a kid to benefit from all that.
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Cooking oil spray
2 cups white whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
5 large carrots, grated
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup golden raisins (optional)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup orange juice
8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange zest. Add the carrots, brown sugar and raisins (if using), then stir with a wooden spoon until well-mixed. Set aside.
• In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil and orange juice. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula or butter knife to smooth the top.
• Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Let cool completely before frosting.
• To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the extract and whip another minute. Cake can be frosted as one piece, or cut into squares and each serving frosted individually.