Shocking? Not quite. To me, it seems like the various holidays creep up on me faster and faster every year. Good or bad thing? I haven't quite decided yet. I'll get back to you on that.
Anyway, we all know how fun holiday-themed goodies are. And being the try-to-be seasonal baker, I obviously want to take advantage of the once-a-year opportunities I have to make certain things. Because, duh, one can never make a pumpkin dessert in the Spring! That is simply preposterous.
So my goal for this upcoming week is to pump out a couple of Eastery desserts and possibly even a little round up of past Easter-themed goodies I've made. You may have to hold me to that though so I actually get it done.
When I think of Easter, my mind immediately jets to Carrot Cake. That classic Carrot Cake with a dollop of thick, rich cream cheese frosting [queue in the drool]. Carrot Cake is actually one of Robbie's favorite cakes, so this time of year is particularly good to him. I was personally never a huge carrot cake fan until I was older, I think the fact that the cake literally has carrots in it made me think there was no way it could be good. But once I took a chance, I never turned back! It got me.
So because of my [and Robbie's] love for Carrot Cake, I'm especially excited to share with you..ta dah!..Baked Carrot Cake Donuts. But wait! This isn't just any old Carrot Cake recipe. Nope. Well yeah, Jess. It's a donut. Yes, you are correct. But! There's also a few added ingredients that make this Carrot Cake Donut uber special. Let's just say pineapple, nutmeg, and toasted walnuts are a few of those uber components. Intrigued yet? You should be.
These donuts were just too good. I must say, they are extremely light and fluffy, you won't get that dense donut most of you are probably thinking of. They're much more cake-like, but absolutely perfect for a morning treat that won't put you in a food coma. I likey .
- I chose to ground up my walnuts because I thought it would look much prettier than the huge chunks. But feel free to leave the walnuts in larger pieces and you don't even need to toast them if you don't like. Completely up to you!
- When making the frosting, make sure to have your cream cheese and butter pretty soft, otherwise you'll end up with a chunky frosting like I did. If this does happen, I popped my frosting into the microwave for a few seconds to break down the chunks.
Adapted from BrueCrew Life
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. vanilla yogurt
2/3 c. crushed pineapple, drained (save juice for frosting)
2/3 c. finely shredded carrots
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
3/4 c. toasted walnuts, ground
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tbsp. pineapple juice
3/4 c. powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. For the donuts, cream together butter, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add egg, vanilla extract, and yogurt and beat until smooth. Stir in pineapple and carrots.
- Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, beating on low speed until combined.
- Fill a ziploc bag with donut batter, snipping off one corner. Pipe batter into prepared pan, filling cavities 1/2 full. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool in pan before removing to wire rack.
- Place walnuts onto baking sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool on baking sheet. Place walnuts into food processor and pulse until walnuts are ground (don't ground them too much, some larger pieces are still desirable). Set aside.
- For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and pineapple juice in medium bowl until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until smooth. Frost cooled donuts as desired and sprinkle with ground walnuts.
Yield: 18 donuts