A year ago I made a banana cream pie, sat down at my computer and shared it with you. Why? Something inside of me screamed: do something just for you. The scream was something I couldn’t ignore. It wasn’t you should do something; the scream said you must do something. So I did. For the first time in a long time I started something just for me. I found an outlet. I love being a wife and mother. Bubba is a super supportive and loving husband. The kids are sweet and smart and funny. I have a good life. I just need more of me in this beautiful life Bubba and I created together. I have that now. In exploring food on this blog, I have explored myself. Thank you for joining me. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
I made a carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting to celebrate this year. You don’t want to miss this recipe! This cake is light and perfectly moist. The frosting has a nice balance of tang and sweetness, and maple syrup adds a nice depth of flavor to the frosting. My family loved it and I bet yours will too!
I found a recipe for candied carrots in Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook. I know, I have a bit of an obsession with her recipes. They are just so good! The candied carrots are very easy to make and adds a simple, yet elegant decoration to the cake. Oh and they taste good!
Sometimes you can’t tell if a carrot cake is a carrot cake. No need to doubt this cake, because it contains one pound of carrots!
Make this cake and share it with friends and family. Or maybe make it just for you, because sometimes something just for you is all you need.
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
cake recipe barely adapted by Baking Illustrated
frosting recipe adapted from Joanne Chang
candied carrots recipe by Joanne Chang
Ingredients for Carrot Cake:
21/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
11/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
11/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 pound carrots, peeled ( about 6 to 7 medium carrots)
11/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
11/2 cups canola oil
Ingredients for Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces of cream cheese, left at room temperature for 4 hours
1 stick + 21/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
21/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Ingredients for Candied Carrots:
1 small carrot
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Directions for Cake:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and spray. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In a food processor, fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots. Add the carrots to the dry ingredients bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the food processor and attach a metal blade. Process the sugars for a few seconds. Add the eggs and process until well combined, about 20 seconds. Keep the machine running and add the oil. Process for another 20 seconds or until the mixture is light in color. Pour the wet mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until well incorporated. No streaks of flour should remain.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top should be golden brown and spring back when pressed in the middle with your fingertip. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Directions for Frosting:
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and continue to beat. Scrape the sides and add the sugar, maple syrup and a pinch of kosher salt. Beat until well mixed. Cover the frosting and refrigerate for a few hours so it can firm up before spreading. You can make frosting up to 5 days in advance. Be sure to store it in an air tight container.
Directions for Candied Carrots:
Peel the carrot with a vegetable peeler. Using the peeler cut length wise strips from the carrot. You will end up with about 6-10 strips.
Combine the sugar and water in small pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrot strips and boil for 10 seconds. Remove from heat and let them cool completely in the syrup. The strips can be made up to 5 days in advance. Be sure to store it in an air tight container.
Once cool, remove the cake from pan. Carefully slice the cake into two layers. Spoon half of the frosting on to the bottom layer. Place the top layer on top and press down gently. Spoon a cup of the frosting on the cake and spread over the top and the sides. This is the crumb coat. Spread remaining frosting on the cake until completely covered. Decorate the cake with candied carrot strips, if using.
The cake will last in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. The cake tastes best a little cold so pull it out a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy!
5 Carrot Cake Treats You Must Check Out!
Looking to make a treat for spring brunches and showers? Try carrot cake baked donuts! Faux Martha has the recipe for you. Check out her other recipes too! They are sure to be just, as good as, these sweet little donuts.
If you love macaroons you should try Tartelette’s Carrot Cake Macaroons! They sound delicious and they are gluten-free!
I love cupcakes. In fact, I never turn one down, but I especially love carrot cake cupcakes. Honey & Jam has a recipe for Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese frosting that I need to try very soon!
Carrot Cake sandwich cookies? Yes please! Willow Bird baking has the recipe. My mouth is watering. I went for a long run today so I would not feel at all guilty about eating 1, 2 maybe 5 of these sweet treats.
I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and I love carrot cake. Now I can have both! Baked by Rachel has a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cake Cookies. Yum!