3.22.2011

Tried & True Tuesday: Carrot Tea Cake

. St. Patty's Day has finally passed, which means no more green desserts, corned beef, potatoes, or soda bread.  So what next?!  There really is nothing in season as of now (at least in good ol' Nebraska) but this lull we are experiencing before the fresh produce begins to pop up [literally] can only be filled with one thing: carrots!

What?  A veggie?  You betcha!  Easter is just around the corner and in order to get in that dyed egg-bunny hopping-chocolate candies mood, I think a few carrot desserts are the perfect solution.  And quite honestly, I've been dying for the St. Patrick's Day festivities to subside so I could officially begin testing out a number of carrots desserts that I've been collecting.  And yes, I'm a seasonal person so I did have to wait until after the green holiday to begin my Easter baking ☺

For today's Tried & True Tuesday, I'm giving you a wonderfully moist, spiced carrot cake [loaf] topped with a rich cream cheese frosting that no one can resist.  I actually brought this little loaf of goodness into the office last spring for Treat Day and from the tiny crumbs sitting on the plate at the end of the gathering, I would say it was fairly liked...

This Carrot Tea Cake recipe comes from my good friend [wink, wink] Martha Stewart.  I've tried several of her recipes and even though I've stumbled across a dud or two, this is NOT one of them.  Another plus?  The cake itself is made in a loaf pan, making the process that much easier.  Stir a few ingredients here and there, place in pan, bake, frost, and voila!  A luscious frosting-topped cake [loaf, I can't decide what to call it...] that's sure to please!  Let the Easter season begin! .

Carrot Tea Cake


Ingredients:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. packed grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar

Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour 9x5-inch loaf pan.  In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Using mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Beat in carrots.  With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Transfer batter to pan; bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Turn out to wire rack to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, until fluffy.  Frost top of cooled cake.
Yield: 1 loaf

*My Notes:
  • Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting, otherwise the cream cheese will begin to melt.  Not very pretty...

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