Recipe inspired by:

Recipe made by: Robbie Shorr

Something I’ve seen more and more of recently is desserts claiming to be healthy. One manifestation of this is sugar-free and flourless desserts, while another is desserts which include fruits and veggies. Look, let’s be honest with ourselves: Do we really think a cupcake is healthy because it has bananas and zucchini? However, once you can get past this “health” fad, you can realize that fruits and veggies can be great dessert components, not for their vitamins and nutrients but because of their flavor. With that in mind, here’s a recipe which combines one common fruit dessert and one common veggie dessert into a deliciously autumnal cake which doesn’t even try to be healthy.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for topping
  • 2 tsps cinnamon, plus more for topping
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for topping
  • 3 cups grated carrots (5 big carrots, or you can just buy them pre-grated)
  • 4 granny smith apples
  • Brown sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Margarine



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9×13 cake tin.
  2. Mix the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl until smooth.                                      
  3. Add the flour, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, mixing until combined. This mixture will be a bit thicker (i.e., more cookie-y and less cakey) than a standard cake batter, but that’s ok because the carrots add moisture.                                             
  4. Grate the carrots (or just use store-bought grated carrots) and fold them in to the batter until evenly distributed.                                                                 
  5. Pour the batter into the greased 9×13 tin.                                               


  1. Core and slice the apples, and add them to a bowl. (It’s ok if the slices are thick).
  2. Add some lemon juice to the bowl, trying to get it on each slice. Lemon juice is necessary because it contains citric acid, which means that the oxidative browning of apples can’t happen because the pH… oh sorry, I got carried away.
  3. Add some brown sugar and cinnamon to the bowl and toss.
  4. Pour the apple mixture on top of the batter.

Crumb Topping

  1. In a bowl, mix some flour, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Crumble some margarine into the bowl, trying to evenly distribute the globs.
  3. Pour this mixture on top of the apples.                                  
  4. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Why this recipe is good for college students:

  • Though this cake seems daunting, there really isn’t that much prep time, especially if you use pre-grated carrots and pre-sliced apples. Additionally, this recipe only calls for basic baking ingredients, and the topping doesn’t even require any measuring at all.

Why this recipe is good for those who keep Kosher:

  • Unfortunately, most carrot cake recipes call for cream cheese frosting, rendering an otherwise parve dessert dairy. The apple topping, however, is able to add the same sweetness while keeping the cake parve.

What I would do differently if I made this recipe again

  • As mentioned above, the carrots provide moisture which gives the batter it’s cake-like consistency. To maximize this effect, I would’ve made sure to grate my carrots right before adding them to the batter. I grated my carrots before preparing the batter and the moisture loss was noticeable.
  • Considering how free form the topping is, it was a waste to actually use bowls to prepare it. If I were to make this recipe again, I would dump all of the topping ingredients directly on top of the batter instead of preparing them separately first.