Easter is on Sunday and most of us, as we should be, are still in isolation at home, either alone or with our immediate family. That being said, there is still room for celebration whether it be just a few of you, or by yourself. Cake seems to lift our spirits and bring out the love in all of us, and at Eastertime, Carrot Cake seems to be a favorite. Baking a multi-layered cake maybe overkill in a small gathering, so I went with a loaf cake because it’s smaller in size, easier to make, and it will last a few days in the refrigerator to slice and enjoy on the days that follow.
Carrot Cake is filled with the most joyous ingredients like; shredded carrots, toasted pecans and in this recipe, a block of softened cream cheese, which is not only used in the frosting, but incorporated into the batter. Softened cream cheese gives this loaf cake a more tender crumb and chew. The outside of the cake bakes up into a auburn rectangle that pops when the maple cream cheese is swirled on top. The frosting is made with just a few ingredients and if you have any maple flavoring in the pantry, add a dash, but if not, maple syrup will give it enough maple pizzazz.
I think this cake is great for dessert, but also nice for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee, or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. After all, we’re in isolation, who’s judging if you eat cake for breakfast, I sure won’t. #StayWell
1 pound of cream cheese, room temperature – divided
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large or 1 small carrots, shredded
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring, optional
pinch of salt
(Makes 1 Loaf)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour 9×5 inch loaf pan or spray with Baker’s spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon – whisk and set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, add half of cream cheese and sugar. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, and mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla and oil, continue to mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients on low speed, in batches until combined. Stir in carrots and pecans by hand. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
- Let cake cool for 40 minutes in pan, then loosen around edges and remove from pan. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
- To make frosting – In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat other half of cream cheese, with powdered sugar for 2 minutes. Add maple syrup, salt and maple flavoring, if using. Continue to mix until creamy, about 1-2 minutes more. Dollop frosting on top and swirl over surface using a knife. Slice and serve, or store in refrigerator until ready to Enjoy!