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Carrot cake with pineapple marmalade

Carrot cake with pineapple marmalade
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Tal Ronnen catered the vegan wedding for Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi. Casino mogul Steve Wynn tapped him to add vegan dishes to the menus at all 22 restaurants at the luxurious Wynn and Encore resorts in Vegas. ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, plus cooling and chilling times | Serves 9 to 12

Carrot cake

  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 pound shredded carrots (from about 18 ounces whole carrots, trimmed, peeled and shredded)
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick baking spray.

Step 2In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.

Step 3Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the vegetable oil and orange juice. Stir quickly to combine and form a batter.

Step 4In a separate bowl, toss the carrots and raisins with the remaining tablespoon flour, then fold in the carrots and raisins with the rest of the batter.

Step 5Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake on the center rack of the oven until set and a cake tester comes out clean or until the cake springs back to the touch, 40 to 50 minutes. Do not overbake.

Step 6Remove from the oven and cool the cake on a rack. When the cake is cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Pineapple marmalade

  • 1 pineapple (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • Sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon minced candied or crystallized ginger
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Step 1Peel and core the pineapple, and cut it into wedges. Coarsely chop the pineapple, then weigh the pieces (it should weigh about half of the whole pineapple).

Step 2Measure the sugar by weighing the same amount of sugar as the cut pineapple pieces: If the original pineapple was 3 1/2 pounds, and the cut pieces weigh 1 3/4 pounds, measure 1 3/4 pounds sugar (about 4 cups, since sugar weighs about 7 ounces per cup).

Step 3Juice 1 of the oranges and set the juice aside (discard or save the rest of the fruit for another use). Zest the remaining orange, then peel and segment it, discarding the pith. Set aside the zest and segments, storing them in separate containers.

Step 4In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the chopped pineapple, sugar, orange juice and segments. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a jammy, preserve-like consistency (spoon a little of the marmalade onto a cool plate to test the consistency), 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 5Remove from heat and stir in the ginger, lemon juice and orange zest. Set the mixture aside to cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 1 quart marmalade, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the marmalade will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 10 days.

Cream cheese frosting

  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, preferably Tofutti
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, a large spoonful at a time, until combined. Increase the speed of the mixer and beat until the mixture is smooth and light. This makes a generous 2 cups frosting.

Walnut tuile

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons glucose
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons finely ground walnuts

Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet.

Step 2In a small saucepan, combine the butter, glucose and sugar over medium-low heat, stirring until the ingredients are melted and combined. Stir in the walnuts and remove from heat.

Step 3Pour the batter onto the silicone baking sheet (it will be a little thick at first, but will thin out a lot as it bakes) and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and set the baking sheet on a rack until cool enough to handle; it will firm up as it cools. Cut and shape, or crack, as you wish. (If cutting the tuile, be sure not to cut shapes while the tuile is still on the baking sheet to avoid damaging the sheet).


  • Carrot cake, chilled
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • 2 cups pineapple marmalade, or as desired
  • Walnut tuile

Step 1Cut the cake horizontally into 2 halves of equal height. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting over the bottom of the cake, lightly covering from edge to edge, then top the cream cheese with a layer of pineapple marmalade.

Step 2Carefully place the second sheet of carrot cake over the first, and frost the top of the cake with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate the cake to chill.

Step 3To serve, cut the cake into slices and garnish with walnut tuile. Serve with a dollop of pineapple marmalade.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by pastry chef Kimberly Valdez of SW Steakhouse at Wynn in Las Vegas. This recipe requires the use of a scale. Glucose can generally be found at baking and cooking supply stores.


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