Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My fiance and I recently got an early wedding present of a KitchenAid Stand Alone Mixer! Woohoo! Isn't it beautiful??? Ooh...ahh...swoon...


I've always wanted to own one and now that I do, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. And I've been dreaming of cake recipes ever since.

The very first thing I made was a carrot cake, as requested by Tim and Steph, the wonderful friends who gave us the wonderful mixer. Yay friends!

They loved it. We loved it. Cream cheese frosting galore. 

The recipe I used was based on "Sigrid's Carrot Cake," featured on The Pioneer Woman. (Have you read that blog? A foodie must. I absolutely love it.)

Anyways, as delicious and as wonderful as that carrot cake was, it was so gosh darn rich. Rich it was so gosh darn. A little too rich for me actually.

(I had also od'ed on the sugar as I kept tasting the frosting too see if it was any good. Which it was. So so good.)

Here is the healthy-fied (is that a word?) version of the recipe. This tastes AMAZING. Truly. Every bit as delicious as the original version...but in its own healthier way. Let's get started!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


*This recipe contains nuts, wheat, eggs, and dairy.

Equipment:
  • Oven
  • Large bowls
  • Metal whisk or hand/stand mixer
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Box grater
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cake pan

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • vegetable oil spray

Cream Cheese Frosting: (Optional)
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 package of softened low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick of softened unsalted butter

Directions:

Carrot Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rack should be set in the middle of the oven. 
  • Set out cream cheese and butter to soften at room temperature.
  • In a bowl, mix together flour, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix or whisk together eggs, applesauce, sugar, and oil, until well-combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing slowly. Do not over mix or cake may become tough. Just stir until everything comes together.
  • Grate 4 carrots. 4 carrots = about 4 cups of grated carrots.
  • Stir grated carrots and chopped pecans into cake batter. Batter will be very thick.
  • Spray the cake pan with vegetable oil spray. 
  • Pour the cake batter into your cake pan and spread out evenly with a spatula or spoon.
  • Bake the cake. Cooking time will depend on the cake pan you use. Approximately 25 minutes. Check cake towards the end of cooking. The cake should be golden brown and firm.
  • Let the cake cool completely!
  • Note: You DO NOT need to make the cream cheese frosting. The carrot cake is perfectly delicious on it's own or baked as muffins.

Cream Cheese Frosting: (Optional)
  • In a bowl, mix or whisk together softened cream cheese and butter until well-combined. (The cream cheese and butter MUST be soft or you will have clumps.)
  • Slowly stir in the powdered sugar. When the powdered sugar is completely combined, whisk vigorously until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Spread frosting on top of the cake. You only need a thin layer of frosting as it is very rich.

Conclusion: Yummy, decadent, and oh, so carrot-y! Make this cake today. It'll make you smile.

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