Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

I spent a while gathering ideas for Easter dinner dessert and was originally thinking cute lil’ bunny themed cupcakes. But after seeing countless recipes for carrot cake I decided to go for it even though I’ve never made one before. I paired it with the delicious cream cheese frosting I made in an earlier post, but added less powdered sugar so it had more of a cream cheese taste! It was a big hit, everyone loved it, my mum especially took a liking to the cream cheese frosting πŸ˜›

You can either bake this in two standard cake tins and layer your cake, or just use a glass pie dish and invert your cake onto your serving platter like I did.

With a few adjustments this was easily made into a much healthier version of the original.

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 – 1 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Grease a 9x13x2 pie pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the almonds for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and they smell delicious. Let cool.
  3. Peel and finely grate the carrots and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
  5. With hand mixer beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light coloured (about 3-4 mins). Add apple sauce and oil in a thin steady stream, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots.
  7. Fill pie pan until 3/4 of the way full and bake in preheated oven for around 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. After completely cooled invert cake onto serving platter and frost with cream cheese frosting. Press toasted almonds around sides of cake, or chop and sprinkle over entire cake. Refrigerate any leftovers!
Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Healthy Carrot Cake with Delicious Cream Cheese frosting and toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • one 8 oz. bar cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest OR extract (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, measure then sifted
  1. With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended.
  2. Mix in vanilla and lemon extract.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  4. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.

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Sweet, Cinnamony Apple Sauce

I find it very hard sometimes to get enough servings of fruits into my body each day. That’s why I’ve started turning fruit into OTHER delcious creations! Like Smoothies, Fruit Salads and most recently:

APPLE SAUCE

Fresh, homemade Apple Sauce is one of the EASIEST things you can make at home and stores in the fridge for up to a month! If it even lasts that long!

The hardest part of the process will be picking out the type of apple you wish to use. I had a bag of Macintosh apples that I really wanted to do something with and finally remembered how much I loved Mum’s homemade Apple Sauce and my choice was made πŸ™‚ You can really use which ever type of Apple you like but I would suggest sticking with something sweet and inexpensive! Also, don’t add any sugar until you have simmered for about an hour. Most apples are already SO SWEET that you do no need to add ANY sugar at all. Best of all you can pick all the apples you need locally in the early fall and make enough Apple Sauce to last through the winter! Enjoy local apples ALL YEAR LONG!

I’ve found that Golden Delicious, Gala, Macintosh and Red Delicious are a few good choices, but again pick whatever type of apple you and your family prefer πŸ™‚

Homemade Cinnamon Apple Sauce

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW :)

A Beautiful Bowl of Macintosh Apples Ready to Become something NEW πŸ™‚

At leastΒ  12 Apples of your choice, Washed, Cored and Peeled.

How to Peel and Core an Apple: http://www.ehow.com/how_4596898_peel-core-apples.html

  • Cut Apples into smaller portions and place in large pot over low heat, sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

  • Cook uncovered for at least one hour stirring often to break down apple pieces.

  • After an hour or so of simmering taste Sauce to check for sweetness. If you’d like it a little sweeter add a little brown sugar or more cinnamon.

  • If you like a smoother Apple Sauce mash until desired consistency reached, if you like it a bit chunkier, remove from heat and let cool slightly before enjoying or putting in jars.

  • Store refrigerated in air tight containers up to one month! Or Freeze for up to SIX MONTHS! Amazing for our Long Canadian Winters!

  • [12 Apples makes Approximately 2, 350 ml containers]

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

Apples after about 40 minutes of simmering, YUMMY!

A great way to spice up this recipe is to try two more different Apples in one Sauce. Or better yet, prepare Pear Sauce in the same fashion as Apple Sauce but reduce simmering time as they are naturally soft!

ENJOY!!!

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy :)

My delicious bowl of Macs in Sauce Form ready to enjoy πŸ™‚