What Easter is complete without a carrot cake? I mean, Easter and bunnies go hand-in-hand, right? And they certainly do love carrots! You will soon discover that this here carrot cake is a combination of the most unique flavors, which you will have been wishing you knew about sooner! It is one of the most moist cakes I've made, filled with peanut butter and coated with a delightful cream cheese frosting.
Growing up, Easter became one of the most eventful holidays. My brothers and I would wake up to a house full of hidden chocolate eggs, a basket with some fantastic little gifts (such as Mary-Kate and Ashley VHS's) and soon after, one of the most wonderful of meals. We would eat until we no longer could, play some traditional Lithuanian games, and then I would insist on watching Switching Goals, or Passport To Paris. While carrot cake has only become a love of mine in the past few years, the absolutely wonderful feeling of waking up on Easter morning with all of the carrot sticks that I had set out for the bunny the night before eaten and gone, is something that I will always have.
So even though my obsession with MK&A movies has died down, this carrot cake has surely filled its spot. Easter may be about much more than running around the house trying to collect the most chocolate eggs, but it is those traditions that make it so much fun. I know that if this divine cake makes an appearance on the Easter dessert table, it will certainly be a tradition you keep!
Canola Oil—4 oz, or ¾ cup
Brown Sugar—6.5 oz, or ¾ cup
Cinnamon—0.3 oz, or 2 tsp
Flour—5 oz, or 1 cup
Salt—0.15 oz, or ½ tsp
Baking Powder—0.2 oz, or 1 tsp
Baking Soda—0.1 oz, or ½ tsp
Eggs—4 oz, or 2
Carrots (grated)—6.5 oz, or 2 ½ cup
Raisins—4 oz, or ¾ cup
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the oil, sugar and cinnamon either with your mixer or by hand.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add this to the sugar mixture.
Add the eggs. Mix until combined.
Grate your carrots, add to the batter.
Add raisins, mix.
Spray a 6” cake pan and a muffin pan with nonstick spray, then lightly coat in flour.
Fill up the cake pan about halfway with the carrot cake batter.
With the remaining, fill up 6 of the muffin cups about 2/3 of the way with carrot cake batter. This is going to be for decorating your cake later!
Put both into the oven and bake until they spring back when touched. The cupcakes will take between 27-30 minutes, the cake will take between 35-40 minutes.
Place the cakes on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes.
Once you can easily handle both the muffin tin as well as the cake pan, take the cake and cupcakes out of their pans and allow to finish cooling.
*Note: if you would like to have a taller cake, just double this recipe! Doubling it will result in 2-8” cakes.*
peanut butter filling ingredients
Peanut Butter—4.75 oz, or ½ cup
Butter—4 oz, or 1 stick
Confectioner’s Sugar—8.3 oz, or 2 cups
Milk—1 oz, or 2 TBL
peanut butter filling process
In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter.
Once smooth, add in your sifted confectioner’s sugar.
Add in milk, mix until smooth and creamy.
cream cheese frosting ingredients
Cream Cheese—12 oz, or
Butter—6 oz, or
Vanilla—oz, or 1 tsp
Confectioner’s Sugar—6 oz, or
Cream together your room temperature cream cheese and butter.
Once smooth, scrape down the sides, add the vanilla. Mix.
Scrape down the sides; slowly add your sifted confectioner’s sugar about ½ cup at a time.
When you have added all of the sugar, mix until just combined and stop.
Now you can begin to frost your cake!
The building of this cake is quite simple and fun!
First, trim off the top of your cake, just so that it has a flat top.
Next, cut your cake in half.
*Note: I did not use any simple syrup in this cake! I have found that using the raisins keeps the moisture locked in, therefore having a super moist cake all on its own!*
To make sure that the peanut butter filling does not mix with the cream cheese frosting on the outside, make a “wall” of the cream cheese frosting on this first layer. To do so, put some of the cream cheese frosting in a piping bag, and pipe a thick layer (about ½” high) around the outside of the cake.
Now, you can put the peanut butter filling inside of the “wall,” making sure that it is spread evenly and flat.
Put the second layer on your cake.
Now, you will dirty ice/crumb coat the cake with the cream cheese frosting. This is simply just coating the cake with a very thin layer of frosting, to ensure that none of the crumbs get into your final coating!
Put the crumb-coated cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, so that the frosting can firm up.
When you are ready to finish you cake, you will start with a good dollop of frosting on the top and smooth it out using (what I prefer) an offset spatula!
The frosting will go over the sides of the cake, but this is perfect because now you can use it for covering the sides! You may use as much or as little cream cheese frosting as you would like, I like to cover the outsides with about ¼” thick layer of frosting.
To decorate, you may do what you would like!
I coated the outside with walnuts, and then the top with the crumbs from those extra cupcakes you baked earlier.
To make the carrot on the top, color some of the cream cheese frosting orange and some green. Put each in a separate piping bag. Use the leaf tip with the green frosting and the basketweave tip with the orange. You may make as many carrots as you would like, or just one large one like I did!