Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Frosting

When I was a kid, I never liked carrot cakes. Probably because cakes weren’t supposed to have veggies on them. It just seemed odd.

Strangely enough, between chocolate- and carrot-flavored cakes, I chose the latter for my wedding cake. I was being a good bride and thought of the guests who weren’t chocoholics like me. Believe it or not, that was the very first time I had ever tasted a carrot cake. Such a liberating experience for my taste buds. Since then, I have made a pact to bake one every year to celebrate our anniversary.

carrot cake with orange cream frosting

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Frosting
Yield: 1 6-inch multi-layer cake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

For the cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup grated carrots
nonstick spray

For the frosting:
4 ounces neufchatel cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 6-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, applesauce, and eggs together until combined.
3. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add to the first mixture and combine. Fold in the grated carrots.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then turn them out of their tins.
6. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and orange zest. Fold in the chopped pecans.
7. To assemble the cake, spread 1 of the cakes with some of the frosting to cover. Stack the other cake, pressing gently. Frost the top with remaining frosting.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman


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