February 26, 2010

what the what?

It's no secret that I enjoy a good carrot cake. Yes, it takes a little bit of elbow grease to grate the lovely cone-shaped veggies, but what a reward for your efforts!

The verdict is in: MOIST.
Imagine my surprise upon slicing into my latest production and finding that the vibrant color of those bestowers of beta-carotene had gone from orange to green!

I had no idea what could've caused such a transition (especially since this is my go-to carrot cake recipe and such a peculiarity hasn't happened before), so I did a little research on the interwebnets.

Apparently, carrots are pretty sensitive little roots and this color change happens quite frequently. The culprit is the baking soda--either the batter contains too much or it doesn't get mixed in evenly. Those pigmentation compounds don't get along too well with the mean ol' alkaline baking soda. Note to self: Incorporate baking soda more thoroughly next time.

Chock-full o' goodies.
Fortunately, this phenomenon doesn't stop the cake from being edible. Or delicious. Heck, it just adds more color to an already easy-on-the-eyes cake!

Now, about those carrots. I was recently quite fortunate to receive an amazing collection of seeds from Hometown Seeds. The package was dubbed survival seeds, meant to be stored in case a crisis were to occur. Here's what you get if you order the kit:

* An in-depth instruction booklet.
* Enough GMO-free,
non-hybrid seeds to plant 3/4 of an acre!
* Double water tight packaging.
* 5-year minimum shelf life, up to 10 years if frozen.


The package contains seeds for everything from peas and corn to lettuce and pole beans--quite a tremendous medley! My family just so happens to be garden-crazy, and they were thrilled to learn that the seeds were open-pollinated. We've already ordered some squash seeds (they have oodles of varieties) from this wonderful company. Take a look, order some seeds, and get some dirt under your nails!

82 comments:

Ramya Manja said...

Carrot cake sounds awesome,turning green instead of orange theory is quite interesting,never knew abt that..I am sure color doesn't make any diff to this alluring cakes...

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Very interesting! Ahh, just tell everyone its carrot zucchini cake :) It still looks divine!

Julia said...

I remember doing experiments like that in culinary school. Too funny.

And thanks for the reminder about seeds. I was just realizing that I need to start planting in about two weeks!! YAHOOOO!!!!!

Julie said...

That's bizarre...I would have freaked out. Then shoved carrot cake into my face!

Robin Sue said...

Green carrots- why not? I am with you, still good enough to devour!

♥peachkins♥ said...

that is amazing...it makes the carrot cake more interesting...

Mary said...

Irish carrots! Who knew? I had no idea that carrots could turn green. I love carrot cake and want to thank you for the research done on our behalf. I really enjoy your blog. I'll be back often. Have a great day.

Barbara said...

Green carrots? I would have lost it.
Kudos, Grace, for proceeding to taste. And then following up by investigating. I had never heard that (although I've never made a carrot cake either) about baking soda and carrots. That's an important little gem to know about, too.

Anyway, I always adore your photos, but this one, with that frosting aimed right at me, is perfection itself.

kat said...

What an interesting fact about the carrots changing color. We were just saying we need to order our garden seeds this weekend.

lisa said...

So interesting! I'd never seen carrots turn green before, but I'm glad to know the cause in case I ever do. Delicious-looking cake too by the way.

Josie said...

Weird, I have never heard of the carrots turning green ... but I am not certain I have ever made carrot cake at home (shocking, I know!).
Re: seeds, I just got my order!! Woohoo! I am so excited. I am adding Spaghetti Squash this year, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out (all cuz of that jalapeno cream sauce :)).

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks so moist and fluffy! Yummy!

cheers,

Rosa

pigpigscorner said...

Green?! I've never seen that before!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I knew baking soda would do lots of things, but to turn carrots green? No! Thanks for sharing that bit of information. Your cake looks luscious. I wish I had a piece right now!

oneordinaryday said...

Huh. I've never had that happen either. You should have just said it was a zucchini cake!

Maria said...

Interesting. Green??? The cake looks wonderful!

Lindsey @ pickyeatings said...

We seem to have differing views on cake, I love cheesecake, can't stand carrot cake (except for the frosting, oh the cream cheese frosting). I also never knew the turning green thing...I would have decided it was mold and thrown it out.

George Gaston said...

Grace, you can beat a slice of good carrot cake. And your looks deliciously moist, no matter what color the carrots become.

But that is great information to have, when I give your "go-to" recipe a try. Many thanks...

Cara said...

What a neat little science tidbit!

dawn said...

yes, coconut is a must.
so you bake and have a green thumb. want to teach me how to garden? I am horrible at it.

Lo said...

How strange! But, then, I learned something today. Thanks, Grace!

Oh -- and I Loooooove carrot cake. Don't care if the carrots are orange or green, it's good stuff.

Hungry Dog said...

What the what indeed! Green or orange, it still looks great--carrot cake is an old favorite! Nice work.

Ingrid said...

LOL, I wish I could have seen your face. I'm certain the lookwas priceless! :) Thanks for the info.

Happy Friday!
~ingrid

À LA GRAHAM said...

That is so interesting...I had never heard that before or seen it. Love your blog, thanks for all the fabulous recipes!

5 Star Foodie said...

Fascinating about this possible color change, definitely good to know. It sounds super delicious no matter what color!

Dolce said...

Maybe it's a sign that this "spooky" green carrot thing should be kept for Halloween ;)
Looks great though...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Haha now I did not know that! So it's bi carb and not the transformation of carrot into zucchini! :P I would have been rather surprised too!

Gulmohar said...

Interesting..thanks for enlightening us...Love love carrot cake :-)Have a great week end Grace !

Kate at Serendipity said...

LOL, I say add MORE of the stuff! Green carrots are too wonderful. ...as long as they don't TASTE bad, that is!

Whoda thunk?

Deborah said...

I have never heard of carrots turning green. Good thing it still tasted great!

LillSis said...

I don't think that's ever happened to me. But, I do usually combine both grated carrot and zucchini when I make zucchini bread. Hmmm? Maybe I've had carrots turn green and just never noticed it. I'm trying to come up with a good breakfast muffin recipe that has both carrot and zucchini.

I love that your carrot cake has pineapple in it! I wish I could have a piece right now. :-) Then again, I'll never lose my last five pounds if I eat cake!

Lisa said...

Interesting! Either I've never seen that happen or I was just too busy consuming the cake to notice. As long as I know its not mold I can't think it would bother me much. The cake looks delicious!

Pam said...

How interesting - I had no clue that happened. Your carrot cake still looks mouth watering good to me! Who needs orange carrots in their cake?

Bridgett said...

That is interesting! I've never made carrot cake myself to know that. Love the frosting though!

Bellini Valli said...

Who knew!!!!! It is not easy being green.

**** April **** said...

Wow... that's amazing! If you have a hankerin' for a super delish carrot cake recipe -- I'll have to share mine that is highly coveted among my closest friends... I'll post and send you a linky soon!

Chef Aimee said...

Ha, I would eat this cake even if the carrots turned purple! Looks awesome!

Carolyn Jung said...

Hey, I think it would work well for St. Paddy's Day, don't you? ;)

Chanel11 said...

Wow, you have a technicolour carrot cake - seeing your delectable cake has actually made me crave one, think I might have to put it on my sweets-to-bake list.

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

interesting! heh.
reminds me of christmas.
like fruit cake! love the colours inside.

Trissa said...

Turned green?? Oh my - thank goodness it was still edible - in fact - looks delicious!

bonnie said...

Green carrots--love it!! Thanks for the info!!

sweetlife

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Thanks for sharing that info with us. I never would have known that carrots could change color like that. Your cake still photographed great! Great info on seeds, we need a garden around here ;)

shaz said...

Ooh I love carrot cake too. I read in one of my baking books that if the skin is left on the carrots when grated, they'll turn green after baking. But green or orange, your cake still looks absolutely gorgeous.

Queen B. said...

SIMPLY * p e r f e c t * !!

stephen said...

Dr. Seuss? green carrots and cake

Bob said...

I love carrot cake, although I suspect a lot of my love for it is the ubiquitous cream cheese frosting. Heh. Yours looks awesome, but since I'm colorblind I'll take your word on the color weirdness. ;)

Erica said...

That carrot cake looks so moist and delicious!Green or Orange looks like a perfect cake!

Lori said...

My garlic turns green a lot but this has not happened to me yet. Wild! I bet you were surprised!

Lynda said...

I had no idea that carrots could turn green! Thanks for the research; now I will know the cause if it happens to me. I would gladly eat this cake though, green carrots or not...it's just one of the best cakes ever made! Delicious Grace!

vickys said...

Just like green eggs and ham! I love carrot cake, with a load of walnuts and a thick slathering of cream cheese. You're mnaking me crave it, and it doesn't help that I'm trying my bestest best to avoid dairy for lent! :)

Sophie said...

mmmmmmmmmm,....my husband loves a good carrot cake & we have made yours before & loved it!

A very interesting post!

Faith said...

That actually happened to me once when I made muffins -- it wasn't the carrots that turned green though, it was sunflower seeds. Thanks for the explanation as to why that happens! I completely agree though, no matter what color the carrots, carrot cake is very easy on the eyes. :)

TKW said...

Green? Weird!! I adore carrot cake, however. I was drooling just looking at this!

Mimi said...

That's new information on carrots. I guess I could use baking soda to turn them green for St. Patty's. Your cake looks perfect, green carrots and all.
Mimi
btw thanks for the link to Hometown Seeds.

A cupcake or two said...

I have never seen carrot cake that has had the carrots change colour. That is fascinating indeed. I would still eat it. I bet kids would too.

livinlocal said...

But oh my, the carrot cake looks so moist and delish!

Lisa said...

I will take any carrot cake, it is my weakness :-) I could use one or two pieces:-) Like...yesterday!

Lisa

Emily said...

Oooh gardening season is coming up! I might try to plant some herbs out on our little deck (in pots of course. :). There's not a whole lotta room though.

Mmm carrot cake. I had no idea about carrots and baking soda. That's interesting!

jennifer said...

good grief woman... I LOVE CAROTT CAKE! and doesn't this just looks scrumptious! you rock, and so does your blog!

Hornsfan said...

so green carrots? why is it that the baking soda only turns them green sometimes?

Amanda said...

I am pretty sure that me failing chemistry has scarred me for life. I have never heard of this before!!

Good thing you persevered! ;)

Blessings-
Amanda

Nostalgia said...

Greeeeeeeeen!!!!!!! well kudos to you for finding out the culprit. Like someone else mentioned for tasting the green, you are bravce. Looks delicious eitherways.

Albany Jane said...

It's a cake fit for Seuss! I'm down for carrot cake of allll kinds and colors.

And lady, I am always psyched to see more cool places to order seeds from. I've found out I am capable of at least somehow not killing seeds, so I'm adding them to the list!

kimberleyblue said...

Carrot cake is definitely one of my favs...especially with a super thick layer of cream cheese frosting all over it!

This one looks like it's heavy on the cinnamon - how perfect!

Lisa-Marie said...

I am going to try this tomorrow, as it's my day off! I am on the search always for the perfect of every cake recipe, so it will be interesting to try!

Marjie said...

Carrot Cake? Mmmmm.....

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

If the orange carrots turn green, I wonder what color different carrots would turn. Pretty fun!

Teanna said...

HA! Woah! Good to know about incorporating the baking soda! Some green carrot wouldn't stop me from eating half of that cake in one sitting, though. Carrot cake is my favorite :)

Sophie said...

I so wish I could have my own little garden! Everything would die here though :/...

Carrot cake is among my favs, so yummy! I think the green carrots are kinda cool :D.

Laura said...

That is wild! My kids would be very entertained.

Hey did you ever finish Dollhouse? All I can say to the ending is WHOA (and did you watch last season's never aired "Epitaph I" first?).

Nutmeg Nanny said...

How weird! I'm happy to hear it doesn't affect the taste :)

Stacey said...

Thanks for the insight on that...now I won't have to panic if it should happen to my next carrot cake. Maybe I'll make one for St. Paddy's Day...

jillian said...

I have never heard about the turning green thing. Very weird. Carrot cake is my favorite!

Chef Jeena said...

I love carrot cake and this looks amazing.....with green carrots and all!

Sharon said...

Green carrots? Sounds like a good excuse to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

penny patten said...

A very yummy, witty and lovely blog!

Kerstin said...

Wow, I had no idea that could happen to carrots! I would still love a piece of your cake though - carrot cake is my absolute favorite :)

Chef Fresco said...

Green carrots?! How interesting. Carrot cake is one of our favorites and this one looks delicious!

culinography said...

Maybe you're just early for St Patty's day? Pass the green cake!

FoodLovers said...

loved ur cakes..

Cindy said...

Wow- I never knew! Thanks