Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

orange carrots on table
Carrots – the star of the show

Summer brings us wonderful fresh produce here in Ontario.  Roasting or cooking up a bunch of sweet carrots is a wonderful addition with any meal but baking them into a classic dessert is an even better use of this veg.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake

Today’s recipe for a moist sweet carrot cake with coconut and walnuts topped with a light Cream Cheese Icing will be a pleasant treat after any meal and an impressive dessert to take along to your next bbq!

This recipe is a perfect size as it bakes up in a 3-inch high 8-inch round cake pan in about 40-45 minutes.  You could also use 2 x 8-inch pans or use the larger height pan like I did and split the cake for an extra layer of icing.   Remember, if using 2 pans your baking time will be reduced.

Miette baking book is where I found this simple recipe and basically the only change I made was using the flat beater for all steps; Miette uses the whisk attachment for the first step of mixing the eggs, sugar and oil. Miette’s recipe also calls for using currents, walnuts and coconut but I opted for only walnuts and coconut as my add-ins.

I normally don’t add coconut to my baked items but in this cake with the carrots and walnuts it added another layer of flavour that blended together deliciously.  You could leave out the cocont and add in some dried currents or some raisins.  I toasted an additional 1/4 cup of coconut to sprinkle on top of the iced cake.

If possible pick up some fresh carrots at the farmers market as they truly are sweet and crunchy this time of the year and will make this cakes wonderful flavour just that much brighter.

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes until well combined and light in colour.  Slow the mixer down, drizzle in the oil and then beat on high speed to emulsify the oi.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions mixing on medium after each until smooth.

Add in the carrots, walnuts and coconut and beat just until combined.  Remove from mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl to ensure everything is folded together well.

Scrape into prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese IcingCream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups icing sugar

1-3 tsp. milk or cream

Beat butter and cream cheese together for several miutes until very well blended and smooth.  Add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on low to combine until spreadable consistency.  You many need a bit more or less icing sugar and if it’s too stiff beat in a teaspoon or two of milk.

Spread between layers and on top of cake.  Garnish with toasted walnuts or coconut.

Refrigerate uneaten portion and bring to room temperature before serving.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot cupcakes are a classic and pretty much a guaranteed cupcake success story.  With the addition of grated carrots which add depth of flavour as well as moistness to the cupcake plus the tangy sweet combination of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar mixed together to top them off they are a hit!

 

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Carrot Cupcakes w Cteam Cheese Icing. Top these with Cteam Cheese Icing for the traditional combination or with a buttercream icing if you prefer.  These will freeze well with or without the icing.  Let’s not forget with the addition of the grated carrots I’m sure these babies must count toward my daily veggie serving!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots

2/3 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts

Method

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and then whisk in the eggs.  Add in applesauce and vanilla and mix together.  Add in the vegetable oil and mix until combined.

Add in half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and combine.  Add in the shredded carrots to the remaining flour mixture to coat the carrots and then add in to the batter and combine. (Coating the shredded carrots in the flour helps to prevent the carrots from sinking to the bottom of each cupcake.)

Fold in pecans.

Spoon batter into muffin cups filling about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

Beat together 1/2 cup room temperature butter with 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese.  Add in approximately 3-4 cups icing sugar and combine on low speed.  Add in enough icing sugar to have a spreadable consistency.  Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

Use a knife or piping bag to ice the cupcakes.

Vanilla Icing & Cream Cheese Icing

Vanilla Icing & Cream Cheese Icing

Vanilla Cupcakes

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In the last 2 days I have baked up about 50 cupcakes. Half I iced with a yummy buttery icing and the other half of the cupcakes I morphed the remaining icing into cream cheese icing by adding about 6 ounces of cream cheese a little more icing sugar and a little more whipping cream. Tint any colour you like and look how pretty they are.

Great for any celebration or occasion.

For the buttery icing beat 1 cup room temperature butter for about 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
Turn beaters off and add about 4-5 cups of icing sugar and beat it in on low.
Add in about 1 tablespoon of vanilla and about 1/4 cup of cream or whipping cream. Beat on medium until well mixed then beat on high for about 5 minutes. Add in cream and or icing sugar as required until light and fluffy.

Delicious.