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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Do you ever go through spurts of extreme laziness and then extreme productivity?

When some days it doesn't feel like you can even get up to go to the bathroom - and then other days when you feel like you could run a marathon while tweeting / talking on the phone to your bff / painting your nails at the same time all with a great big smile on your face?

Yeah - that second one doesn't really happen to me either. 

But...sometimes, I do get ambitious in the kitchen.

Like last night. I decided it would be a good idea to bake some bread, make stuffed peppers for dinner and then bake a cake. No biggie, just a random Tuesday night.

I needed to use up a surplus of carrots that I got last week in my fruit and veg box from Abel and Cole. Of course my first thought was carrot cake - there was no way I was letting those babies get turned into something savory. 

I wanted to make something *slightly* less sweet than traditional carrot cake though and started thinking more in terms of a carrot "bread" - much like zucchini or banana bread - rather than a cake. And a lighter glaze rather than heavy whipped frosting. Three cheers for getting one of your five a day in your dessert! 

In the end I found this great recipe from Bob's Red Mill that proved to be an excellent jumping off point. And the best thing about this recipe is that it is highly adaptable - as long as you get the dry to wet ratio right you can add lots of different goodies - think raisins, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips...the sky is the limit!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
You can omit the cream cheese icing if you want to make these a little healthier, though I really love the sweetness it adds to the bread/cake. Feel free to bake this in a regular loaf pan or as muffins, just adjust the baking time accordingly. The original recipe was found here from Bob's Red Mill. Make sure to add the correct amount of baking soda - I accidentally added 1 TBLSP instead of TSP and my coworker noticed green chunks of carrot in her piece of cake! Not attractive at all, but still perfectly safe to eat.

Carrot Cake
1 cup oats, not instant
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 - 2 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla (go on, use the good stuff!)

- In a medium bowl combine the oats and the milk and stir well. Leave to soak while you assemble the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine flour, brown sugar, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir well and then add in carrots (you would also add the raisins, nuts or any other dry extra in now as well!)

- In the bowl with the oats and milk add the eggs, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are just incorporated - do not over mix. Pour in your prepared pan of choice (you can use a bundt pan like I did or a loaf pan or even a cupcake tray with liners).

- In an oven preheated to 350*F bake your cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I needed 45 minutes in the bundt pan, I expect a loaf pan would take a similar (if not slightly longer) baking time. Cupcakes/Muffins would probably take closer to 15-20 minutes. Adjust as needed according to your pan and check that it doesn't over cook.

- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely. Once the cake has cooled frost with Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe below). 

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 tblsp powdered sugar
2 tblsp milk (to start, see notes below)

- In a medium size bowl combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk and stir until combined. Depending on the consistency that you want on your cake you might want to add more milk to make it thinner. I ended up using about 3.5 tblsp for my glaze.

- Drizzle over cooled cake and leave to set. Serve extra cream cheese icing on the side in case people want more sugary sweetness!

1 comment:

  1. I"m STARVING now! That looks amazing--kudos! Whenever I go home to Portland I visit Bob's Red Mill. He has the most amazing grain store & cafe... mmm!