I’ll admit that carrot cake is a pretty random craving but sometimes you have to just go with it.
Give in. Do it.
Listen to that little voice coming from your heart.
Well I listened my way right into the kitchen, food processor-ed up some carrots (which makes things so easy!) and whisked together this dream of a cake. Spicy, moist, and dare I tell you the best part:
It has only a 1/3 cup of oil. Really.
What is the official criteria for low-fat? Whatever it may be, I’m going to say that that little fact (which you can keep to yourself) plus carrots equals low-fat in the mind of the Butter Me Up Brooklyn kitchen.
The frosting was just the icing on the cake (boom – went there!) and as amazing as both this frosting is, and how well the maple and cream cheese flavor combination is, this cake really doesn’t need frosting. It’s got flava for dayz.
When my next carrot cake craving hits, I will be baking this in a loaf pan, finishing it with just a touch of powdered sugar, and having it for both breakfast and with afternoon tea. I will save the frosting for a special occasion, but let’s be honest, that’s not to say that a Thursday afternoon won’t count as reason enough to make cupcakes for a party of one.
Spiced Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes one 8 x 8 cake + enough frosting for the cake and then some
Cake adapted from Joy of Cooking
For the cake:
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fine ground pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded by hand or in a food processor
For the frosting:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 8 x 8 pan with two sheets of parchment and butter the parchment. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugars, and spices together in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla bean seeds then add to the flour mixture and fold to combine. Add the carrots until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting the cake.
To make the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth and well combined. Add the maple syrup and mix well. Refrigerate the frosting for about 20 minutes to firm it up a bit, then frost away!