Sunday, April 28, 2013

Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

It's time for the dessert in our Spring Brunch!

Nothing says spring like carrot cake in my book.  One of my favorite cakes, that I rarely get a chance to make.  But the craving comes every spring.  This year I caved in and made this slightly adapted version from Cooking Light.  It's a little healthier than the normal carrot cake which was my justification. (A girl's gotta have a justification sometimes!)

This cake has the addition of flax seed meal, giving this cake more fiber, and therefore also a more dense cake.  Almost the texture of a bran muffinIt's not the lightest cake around but it does have great flavor, and makes a pretty presentation.  

You also don't ice this cake fully.  The icing is a lighter version as well, with a little bit of cream cheese which gives it just enough tang.  It really does look pretty with the strategically placed icing.

Great for brunch, and can anyone say Mother's Day? 

Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup flax seed meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded carrot (about 6 medium)
1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup canola oil
1 recipe Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
Coarsely shredded carrot (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch round cake pans.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, flax seed meal, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In another large bowl, combine finely shredded carrot, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, spreading evenly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans.  Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter. Top with half of the Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting. Place the second cake layer atop the frosting; spread with the remaining frosting. If desired, garnish with coarsely shredded carrot. Makes 14 to 16 servings.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

YIELD: 3/4 cup

2 ounces softened reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen light whipped dessert topping

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Thaw 1-1/2 cups frozen light whipped dessert topping. Fold about 1/2 cup of the topping into the cream cheese mixture to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped topping. Makes about 1-3/4 cups.

adapted from Cooking Light

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