I am a part of this great group text between my mom Debbi, and my cousin, Debbie. Together we make up a trio of endless recipe and food sharing between the family. After Ben and I, yep – the two of us, made this Carrot Cake over the weekend, I sent a photo to the Debbi(e)’s the response I got back was, “Where is the cream cheese frosting?”
There is nothing wrong with doing a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to baking, I constantly switch up frosting and cake pairings to what I think would work best. In this instance I – lover of all things cheesy and creamy, and Ben – hater of the cream cheese, could not agree on frosting for carrot cake. If it were up to him he would eat the cake plain. Who does that?!
Most recipe decisions around here are made by asking the question: what can we make that doesn’t involve going to the store and buying stuff? That was semi the case in this one, semi the “Andrea I don’t want frosting” comment too. We settled on a cinnamon glaze drizzled on top so I could still get the sweet, and Ben could get the piece with the least amount.
In the end, the carrot cake turned out AMAZING! The cinnamon and nutmeg are the two flavors that stand out the most to me, I didn’t even realize that I had eaten cake with five carrots in it! Despite waiting two days to glaze and eat after baking, I’ll explain why later, this cake held it’s moisture inside a cake display all week… long enough for both Ben and I to finish it off by ourselves! After baking this I am sure you will see why you don’t always need to reach for that sugary cream cheese frosting when eating carrot cake.
This recipe starts off with first washing and grating carrots, it took about five carrots to get our two cups worth.
While Ben grated my carrots (isn’t it nice to have a helper in the kitchen?) I got to work on mixing and sifting together the dry ingredients.
We used the Carrot Cake recipe we found on Taste.com.au for this, but subbed in/out a few things, like honey for golden syrup, and baking powder for self rising flour, and adding ground nutmeg in with the cinnamon. We also increased the amount of All Purpose Flour to make up for the flour deficit. Don’t worry, I included all those in the ingredients below so there is no math on your part. You’ll thank me later.
Like I said, the Golden Syrup from the original recipe was replaced with half of a cup of honey… almost the remainder of our jar, so Ben had a Pooh Bear moment finishing it off and dripping on himself in the process!
As payback for posting the honey photos, and the incessant cry from family to include more photos of myself in the blog, Ben snapped a few photos as I combined the wet and dry ingredients with the grated carrot.
We baked the cake for one hour and then let it cool before making the glaze for the top.
I would say we let the cake cool for X number of minutes before cooling, but in the time the cake cooled before glazing we watched a movie, went swimming at Bogey Hole, and saw the sun set and rise twice. You probably aren’t as crazy as we are (and don’t live in a house with two other adults all vying to use the kitchen) so you want to eat a cake after you make it, right? If that is the case – as I assume it is – let the cake cool completely before glazing.
The glaze is extremely simple to make: half a cup of confectioners sugar (aka icing sugar), half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one tablespoon of milk.
Once you have mixed all of those ingredients in a small bowl you are ready to glaze!
Warning: You WILL get a bunch of glaze on your counter and want to lick it off. Resist the urge… if your counter is dirty. If not, go for it! Although, it’s highly recommended you take a spoon and scrape it off instead of licking. There’s nothing wrong with licking from your counter, but you may get funny looks from friends or family. If you don’t want a messy counter, place a piece of parchment paper underneath your cooling rack before glazing.
After glazing I couldn’t wait for Ben to get home from work. Two days of staring at a delicious cake, and now covered in cinnamon sugar-goodness was enough. When he arrived we cut two big slices out and enjoyed. Despite no cream cheese frosting, the glaze gives it just enough to enhance the flavors that have been baked into the cake. The cake remained moist in the cake display well beyond the two days it sat untouched, and throughout the following week as we enjoyed it.
- 2 cups grated carrot (about 4-5 carrots)
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C) and prepare an 8-inch round cake pan by greasing with oil and non-stick baking paper circle.
- Peel and grate the carrots and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, using a wooden spoon to mix until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely. You will want to make sure that the cake is 100% cooled before pouring the glaze on top.
- In a small bowl mix confectioners sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk until completely combined.
- With a table spoon, drizzle glaze overtop to your desired amount.
- Enjoy with a glass of hot tea or milk.