As summer comes to a close and the evening breezes cool down, we start to crave something a little heartier in our dessert repertoire. Carrot cake is a classic favourite: Rich, creamy icing and sumptuous cake mingle harmoniously to create the ultimate comfort food. It’s no wonder it’s always held a prized spot in the diner display case, shown off to hungry customers like a precious jewel. Prepared in miniature loaf portions and moistened with smooth pumpkin, this carrot dessert is sure to delight. And as befits the month of September, its fluffy filling reminds us of the fresh, bright flavours of summer, while its savoury kick gives a subtle nod to the fantastic autumnal fare that’s to come.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 3/4 cup golden raisins or walnuts (optional)
- 2 250-g packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted icing sugar
1 To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour mini loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix the dry baking ingredients with a wire whisk to break up any lumps. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, pumpkin purée, eggs and grated carrot with an electric mixer until fully combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the coconut flakes and the raisins or walnuts, if using.
2 Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling them approximately three quarters of the way full. Bake on the centre rack of the oven for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean; allow to cool.
3 To make the filling, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the icing sugar, beating constantly.
4 To assemble, slice the carrot loaves horizontally and spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the bottom half of each loaf. Replace the top half and serve.
Makes: 12 loaves
Find more satisfying sweet treats with our Dessert of the Month recipes!