Carrot Cake Minis
What could be more appropriate on Easter than carrot cake! I know not everyone is a fan of carrot cake but trust me, give this one a try. I wanted to make a simple cake without any crazy ingredients like coconut, pineapple or walnuts simply because I don't like those things. I don't even like the carrots in carrot cake. So for this recipe I used a fine hand grater but I'm sure popping carrots into a food processor would work too. 1/2 a cup took about 2-3 large carrots. They were barely detectable almost caramelized specks in the cake with bursts of perfect sweetness.
Makes about 18 mini cakes depending on how you slice.
FOR THE CAKE
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
FOR THE FROSTING
16 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together oil, sugar and eggs. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer.
Add vanilla extract, applesauce, and crated carrots, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix flour baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined (or greased) 9 by 9 inch baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely, and then frost and cut into bars.
FOR THE FROSTING
With an electric mixer, whisk softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar as you mix.
Reserve 1/2 cup of frosting for the carrot decoration. Spread the remaining frosting over the cooled cake.
Divide the reserved frosting into two bowls and mix one drop of green food coloring with one and orange with the other. Spoon the frosting into two small plastic bags, cut off a small piece of the corner. Start by making the stems with the green frosting, and then add the carrot.