The other day, I asked my dad and Ryan to guess what I was going to bake for Easter. Now to me, an avid baker, this seemed like a rather simple question with an obvious answer. Either Carrot Cake or Coconut Cake, two quintessential Easter desserts, would have been the best and easiest guesses. But I was mistaken; apparently this is not common knowledge to many men in my family.
After letting them flounder for a few minutes, I gave up, and told them that I, of course, was making a carrot cake. "How is a carrot cake an Easter dessert?" My dad asked, and I replied, "Because bunnies love carrots, Dad." And that was enough said.
This recipe is easy to throw together once your carrots are shredded. I use a food processor instead of hand grating my carrots, which dramatically cuts down on the amount of work. Not only is this recipe relatively easy, it is delicious. How can you go wrong with pineapple, carrots, brown sugar and cream cheese? The cake is incredibly moist, thanks to a combination of oil and applesauce. I cut back on the oil and added more applesauce to improve the nutritional profile of the cake. But of course, Easter is a holiday, and so this cake is decadent and sweet, especially with the cream cheese frosting.
And while I know that many bunnies will be delivering eggs in various backyards and houses this weekend, this cake will tempt both them and the humans they deliver their eggs to.
2 cups shredded carrots
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 nine inch cake pans with parchment paper. Butter or grease your pans and sprinkle with flour.
2.. Using a blender, combine the sugar, oil, vanilla, applesauce and eggs. Beat until fully combined.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together your dry ingredients. Add to your wet ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Using a large wooden spoon or spatula, fold in your carrots and pineapple.
4. Divide batter between your two prepared pans. (WARNING: I had extra batter. Don't fill your pans more than 1/2 full or they will overflow. I used the extra batter to make two small muffins.)
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans for 15-20 minutes. Turn out on a wired rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. Remember to remove the parchment paper!
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and cream until well combined, adding more sugar if necessary.
2. Use a spatula or wide knife to spread over cooled cake.