This is the literal carrot cake I made my younger brother for his birthday last year. I doubled the recipe and made 1- 9 by 13-inch cake for the carrot part and 1- 8 by 8-inch cake for the greens. He loves carrot cake, so I took a hint from Clare Crespo's The Secret Life of Food and made a giant carrot. This is also a healthy cake, so give it a try!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups grated carrot
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and lightly flour the cake pans. (2- 8 or 9-inch rounds, 1- 13 by9 by 2-inch pan, 24 cupcakes) Sprinkle the carrots with the lemon juice and stir in the zest; add the raisins and, and if desired, walnuts, and set aside.
3. In an electric mixer or food processor, cream the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, and honey. Sift together the dry ingredients and gradually add them to the mixture, stirring just until smooth. Stir the carrot mixture evenly into the batter and pour into prepared pans.
4. Bake 35 minutes for round cake pans, 40 minutes for 9 by 13, and 20 minutes for cupcakes, or until the top feels firm to the touch. Wait for the cakes to cool before removing them from the pans.
7 ounces cream cheese
3 1/2 Tbls milk
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a medium mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese and milk until soft and fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in sugar.
3. Add the vanilla and blend until smooth.
note- this icing can be dyed with food color paste to make it more fun!