Yesterday I thought I could quickly write up this post before heading over to my family’s to prepare for last night’s service…oh the duties of a pastor’s daughter. 🙂 Nah, just kidding, I like helping out, reading out loud at church, singing an occasional song, and that general thing. I guess growing up with a Dad who’s enthusiastic about church makes you feel closer to your Dad when you’re taking part in organising a service.
Today my grandparent’s are coming to visit, and we’ll celebrate Easter together. I’m so excited to present my family with all the yummy stuff I’ve been preparing these past days (eventhough they may have already seen it here on the blog, in which case I can’t wait to see what their faces look like when they actually TASTE the stuff). I prepared some of my vegan bounty bars today, covering some with milk chocolate (which I never use for making sweets for myself, as I’ve gotten so accustomed to the high-percentage stuff that milk chocolate is just waaaayyyyy to sweet for me) as my Dad is not a dark-chocolate-lover at all. Whenever I drop by and leave some sort of foodie present (which, I get teased, is basically everytime I drop by my parent’s house), he is always cautious in asking whether there is dark chocolate or milk chocolate involved. Today, he won’t be disappointed!
The true highlight of today’s gettogether (you know, besides the fact that we’ll be celebrating as a family :)) is the cake I made for coffee, though. I aimed to replicate a carrot cake frosted with cream cheese icing that we used to love at a friend’s house when all us kids were still younger, and, while I doubt it’ll hit that nerve 100%, I feel like I got pretty close:
I sprinkled half of the frosted cake with honey-cinnamon-coated walnuts that my best friend, who was over for coffee yesterday, kindly prepared as I was going crazy with the frosting. The frosting could be perfected by heating it up (it’s made out of coconut oil and cream cheese), keeping the coconut oil from clumping once it is mixed with the cream cheese.
While this cake isn’t vegan, I have definitely tried to reduce the sugar amount a bit and added coconut oil “only”, no butter or other fats. What I love about carrot cake is its natural moist and chewyness, and that you’re packing some veggies in disguise, of course. This recipe calls for 3-4 carrots, making about 3 1/2 cups of grated carrots. The cream cheese frosting is made with confectioner’s sugar, but I also reduced the amount given in standard recipes and focussed more on maintaining the actual cream cheese taste, which I love. Feel free to play with the frosting recipe, like I said mine was a bit clumpy and next time I’ll definitely heat up the coconut oil and mix with all the frosting recipes, and then allow it to cool down again. Taste-wise I consider the frosting to be perfect.
As for making the cake: first, mix all your dry ingredients:
Add the wet ingredients (the only “hard” part is actually grating the carrot…)
Fill your cake into two separate forms (if you don’t want to make a two-layer cake, you can only bake one larger cake, however your baking time may vary slightly!).
After you’ve baked your two layers, allow for them to cool.
…but go ahead and prepare your frosting during this time!
This frosting is so good that I had to immediately lick the whisk clean, as can be seen in the picture below.
If you don’t need this cake to be nutless due to allergies, I highly suggest making this honey-cinnamon-glazed walnut sprinkles for your cake:
My best friend was my handmodel again – I love it when she’s around (she studies at a university several hours away from home, so I don’t get to see her that often).
Now to the fun part: Frosting the cake!
I only sprinkled half of the cake with the walnuts as my sister has an allergy, but feel free to go big and sprinkle the entire cake. Keep the cake refrigerated until serving; you don’t want the frosting to melt off the cake!
Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake
Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake
(makes one two-thin-layer cake)
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground vanilla
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3-4 carrots (grated = 3 1/2 cups approximately)
for the frosting:
- 1 1/2 packages cream cheese (I used Philadelphias Yoghurt Cream Cheese, which come in 175g packages)
- 1/2 + 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted through a sieve)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, molten
- 1 tsp. ground vanilla
for the honey-cinnamon glazed walnuts decoration:
- 1/2-1 cup walnuts (depending on whether you want to sprinkle walnuts on the entire cake, or just half, like I did)
- 1-2 tsp. honey
- 1-2 tsp. cinnamon
Use the larger amount for sprinkling the entire cake.
1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
2. Grate the carrots, and then add to the dry ingredients along with the rest of the wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until you have a nice wet dough.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). If you want to make this a two-layered cake, use two cake forms. You may want to spread a little bit of coconut oil in your cake forms before adding the dough; this will keep the baked cakes from sticking too much to the forms. Spread out the dough evenly among the two cake forms.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then switch the two cake forms around, placing the bottom one on top and the top one on the bottom. Bake for 10 more minutes, then take out of the oven and allow to cool.
5. While your cake layers are cooling, you can prepare your cream cheese frosting. As I’ve mentioned, my turned out a bit lumpy, but try heating the coconut oil AND the cream cheese before mixing the two together, the problem should then be solved. Mix all the ingredients for the frosting in a bowl and then whisk until creamy and thick. Keep refrigerated until the cake layers have cooled.
6. Next, prepare your honey-cinnamon-walnuts (which would also make for a great snack if you left the walnuts whole, btw): Chop the walnuts into smaller chunks, then roast with the honey and cinnamon on low heat in a small pan, and allow to cool. Make sure they don’t burn, keep the heat very low and stir frequently. After about 7-10 minutes, they should be done.
7. Once the cake layers and the walnuts have cooled down, the fun part starts: Frost the cake, and add a luxurious cream cheese frosting layer in between the two cake layers.
This cake is my absolute favorite when it comes to frosted cakes (there is a chocolate cake that comes quite close, which I haven’t posted yet, but stay tuned for when that happens). I like that it’s not as heavy as other cakes but still tastes deliciously decadent. For occasions such as Easter family gettogethers, this cake is truly amazing. Carrots and Easter just go together, right?