This brings us to recent events. I do most of my grocery shopping at a bulk foods warehouse store. There are only 2 people in my house, meaning the 3 pound block of cream cheese that I bought was going to require some creative uses. Carrot cake immediately came to mind. The icing uses 1/2 pound of cream cheese, and I figured it would be a hit for Monday night girls’ night. I had intentionally not frosted it so that I could freeze the cake and frosting leftovers separately. Who am I kidding ? Leftovers? The girls indeed loved it (as did my father, see photo below!). The most popular comment was that they were so grateful that it had no raisins. I had no idea so many people hated this particular dried fruit!!!
This recipe comes from www.foodnetwork.com. I chose this one in particular because it seemed slightly more healthy than some of the alternatives (with yogurt subbing for some oil and no butter in the frosting). I did decide to cook it in a 9×13 pan instead of the cake rounds that they had called for because I do not own the size specified. I also added chopped pecans for texture. If you’re allergic to nuts or simply don’t prefer them, by all means, remove them!
12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
3 large eggs
6 ounces plain yogurt
6 ounces vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups
3 oz chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with cooking spray.
Using food processor or hand grater, grate carrots into a large bowl.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.
In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.
With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil.
Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Add the pecans and mix gently.
Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely.
While cake is cooling, make cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended.
Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.
Add the chopped pecans and mix just until combined.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.
Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting ONLY after cake has cooled completely (otherwise you’ll make a huge mess!).
Please don’t let this picture of my cake slice fool you. The only reason it’s so small is that I was enjoying it so much that I completely forgot to take a photo until I had almost finished it!