This was another one of those fun experiments that turned out right. This isn't an overly-sweet cake. The sweetness comes in with the cheesecake-like cream cheese frosting I put on top, which if you're watching your sugar intake you could omit and instead sprinkle some powdered sugar on top or enjoy it plain with a cup of tea. However, the frosting is so good it almost didn't make it on to the cake! I might blame that on being 8 months pregnant and wanting to snack all the time, but my husband couldn't help stealing spoonfuls of icing from the bowl too!
If you aren't going to be able to eat the cake within a day or two, freeze the extra until you're ready to have it. This cake is best fresh. Also, if you want to really create a beauty, try doubling the recipe for the cake and icing and doing a four layer cake instead of two. It will be beautiful!
Getting Started - 2 layer cake
For the Cake
- 1 3/4 cup organic whole-wheat or spelt flour
- 1 cup organic brown sugar or rapadura
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 organic eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup organic butter, melted
- 2 cups shredded organic carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, plus extra to sprinkle on top the icing, that is if you really like walnuts
For the Icing
- 8 ounces organic cream cheese, cold
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons organic whole milk
- 2 - 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted if there are any lumps in it
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Hand mixer
- 2 round cake pans 8" or 9", greased, floured and bottom lined with parchment paper
- Cooling racks for cake
- Measuring cups and spoons
Making the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Add the 3 lightly beaten eggs and melted butter and mix with a spatula or whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Fold or stir in carrots and walnuts. It's as easy as that!
This is a thick batter, so you'll have to spoon it into the cake pans and spread it
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes depending on what size cake pan you choose. Don't let this cake overcook. It's a dark batter, so you don't necessarily want to wait until it's "golden" or "browned". Instead stick a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, the cake is done, if it doesn't, bake it for a couple more minutes and test again. Try to avoid keeping the oven open, you don't want to lose all your heat. Do the toothpick test quick.
When cakes are done baking, remove them from the oven and run a knife around their edge to loosen them from the sides. Turn cake out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely before preceding.
Making the Icing
Unlike when you make a butter icing where you want your butter at room temperature and soft, with cream cheese you want it cold.
Using a hand mixer, beat your cream cheese until it's smooth and creamy. Add milk, vanilla and 2 cups of the powdered sugar (sift the powdered sugar if it has lumps in it) and beat until icing is smooth. Add more powdered sugar if you think it needs to be thicker. I didn't ice my whole cake and instead just iced the top and in-between the two cake layers, so I made an icing that held it's shape, but wasn't overly stiff. If I was going to ice the sides of the cake, I would probably have added a bit more powdered sugar so I wouldn't risk any of the icing running off the sides.
Once cake is cool, spread icing on it and enjoy! It's DELICIOUS!!!!