Friday, April 6, 2012

Carrot Cake

For Easter celebration dessert, I decided upon the Oh, so loved carrot cake! I searched for a healthier version and this is the best I came across. It still has a lot of sugar, but at least its balanced with some veggies, right? Well this cake is super moist, very decadent, and a fantastic combination of tropical and spiced flavors in every bite, and to top it all off with a creamy rich frosting. Next time, I would just add raisins. I had unfortunately chosen against the idea, but now regretting it--  I think it would have added a nice touch and interesting combination of texture and flavor.

Carrot Cake:
Slightly Adapted from: Gina's Skinny Recipes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp canola oil
2 Ener-G eggs replacer + 4tbsp water or 2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely grated carrots
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drained 
1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped walnuts

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz Light Philadelphia Cream Cheese*
1 cup powdered sugar*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl measure and mix the energy Egg Re-Placer if using. (1 1/2 tsp + 2 tbs water) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices, and mix well. 
In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, and vanilla, stirring well. Next, combine in the mixture the carrots and pineapple. 
Mix together the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, keep folding until well combined. Add in raisins and/or nuts. 
Split the batter between 2 round cake pans coated with cooking spray or butter. Bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick (I used a fork) inserted comes out clean, the sides of the cake should be pulling away from the cake pan  Let cake cool completely on a wire rack. And after cooled, very carefully release the cake upside down on a large plate or other baking sheet in order to begin frosting and stacking cakes. 

To make the frosting, mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Then add the cinnamon. Spread frosting over first top layer of cake and then layer the next cake, frost top as well as sides. Garnish with extra chopped walnuts or shredded coconut if desired.
To store cake, be sure to refrigerate as the frosting is made of cream cheese and therefore must be kept cool. And when serving, I prefer to heat a my slice for about 10 seconds int he microwave.

*Be sure to buy light or low-fat cream cheese, but DO NOT buy no-fat, as many suggested it turns to water liquid when mixed. 
*I didn't not have any powdered sugar on hand, and actually just made my own by blending 1 cup granulated sugar it for a couple minutes until it turned to powder form. 

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Wet Ingredients + Pineapple & Carrots
Wet + Dry Ingredients
1/2 Batter in cake pan, ready for  Preheated oven
After 25 minutes, (fork) toothpick came out lean &
notice sides have lifted from edges of cake pan. Let cool.
Flip cake onto a Plate lined with wax paper to keep clean
edges when frosting.
Spread about 1/3 frosting on top of first layer &
at this point you can add any other  ingredients for filling 
Stack the second layer of cake
Dollop the remaining frosting & spread along top and sides
All frosted & remove wax paper
You have a delicious cake

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter, but remember the reason of celebration, He is Risen! Do you have any special plans or traditions for the Easter holiday?

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