I was flipping through my old recipe books and boxes looking for some new things to try when I came across this carrot spice cake recipe. I realized I had never actually made a carrot cake myself and this one sounded delicious so I figured I'd give it a go and make my first carrot cake.
This was a pretty straightforward recipe which is always nice. Start by whisking together the brown sugar and oil. Then combine the eggs one at a time. I have a little guy with an egg allergy so I substituted 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and spices and add those to your other mixture.
This being my first carrot cake, I had to look up how to prep my carrots just to be sure. I used the smaller side of my grater and grated up three large carrots which gave me roughly three cups.
Next, I gave my (dry) oatmeal a twirl in my blender to turn it into a finer powder and Folded the oats and carrots into my batter.
The original recipe suggested using a bundt pan, but I wanted something a little more kid-friendly so I went with cupcakes instead. (Same bake time worked.) I threw some extra batter into a couple ramekins to make mini cakes as well.
Bake your cake for 50-60 minutes at 325 and then let it cool in the pan for another 10 minutes before removing it and cooling completely and frosting.
Speaking of frosting... the cream cheese icing I used with these cupcakes turned out really great. I combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 3-4 teaspoons milk until I got the consistency I was looking for. If you like a sweeter frosting, just add a little extra powdered sugar. I also think adding some brown sugar and/or cinnamon to the icing would be nice. I'll be trying that out next time.
As far as presentation goes, I think carrot cakes are adorable when they have little frosting carrots on them. I did a few of these on my cupcakes, but if I'm being honest, my icing skills could use a little work. My hearts-and-dots look turned out a lot cuter so that's what I'll show you here. If you want to simplify, save time, and avoid food coloring you could dust each frosted cupcake with a little brown sugar or cinnamon for a more minimal, but still beautiful look.
I'm pretty pleased with how this spiced carrot cake turned out, especially for it being my first time! The spices made for a very flavorful take on a classic cake. I did end up with a very fudgy and gooey rather than fluffy and cakey cake. I don't know if that's what this recipe was going for or if that's because of my applesauce substitute. I liked what I ended up with, but next time I make this cake, I'll use eggs and see if that changes anything. (update to come)
Overall this cake has a great mix of flavors and is rich without being heavy. Making it the perfect treat to enjoy for spring!
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs (or 1 cup applesauce)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 t salt (optional)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup Quaker Oats
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 t milk