It's three weeks until Easter! Last year on Good Friday we jetted off to Iceland for our 5th wedding anniversary (if you are even considering going to Iceland, do it!). Our anniversary fell on Easter Sunday and we did a tour of the South Coast - it was captivating.
This year it's all about a more traditional celebration and the Easter dessert is, of course, the first thing I think about. I did some research (umm...Google) and apparently you simply can't get any more traditional than Carrot Cake at Easter.
I have never actually made a carrot anything before....and since steamed carrots don't count, I suppose....I figured let's give it a shot. I decided to make a 'trial' cake (why wait?) and found a lovely carrot cake recipe already scaled down for two.
Maple syrup is synonymous with spring - so I added my own twist with the addition of maple syrup to both the cake and the frosting.
Result? Magically delicious....(errr...my only excuse for that is that St. Paddy's day is just around the corner). I think it's far too early to make a solid decision for Easter dessert, though, so the journey will continue....
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Dessert for Two
yields 1 six inch cake
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup packed grated carrot (from 1 small carrot)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
FOR THE FROSTING:
3 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
5 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
Grease a 6” round cake pan.
In a medium bowl, beat oil and sugar together with an electric mixer for about 1 minute.
Beat in the egg, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. Add the carrot and continue to beat - don't be too gentle, you want it to stain the batter orange, but not so tough that the carrot is obliterated!
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture beat until just combined. Avoid over-mixing.
Pour the batter into one 6 inch cake pan and bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Let the cake to cool completely on a wire rack. While you are waiting for the cake to cool, make the frosting.
Start with room temperature cream cheese and butter. This is important or your frosting will be lumpy. Tasty, but not pretty.
Beat together the cream cheese, and butter. Add in a few tbsp of icing sugar and the maple syrup. Beat a little more. Add in the remaining icing sugar. Add more icing sugar if needed until you obtain the right consistency for frosting.
Frost generously and keep in refrigerator until 30 minutes before serving.
Tell me....what are you making for Easter?