Saturday, March 5, 2016

Carrot Pineapple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi everybody!! I saw a delicious recipe for carrot cake on The Food Charlatan blog and thought I'd try it, with a few modifications. So, let's start!
First step: contemplation of our goal.
So, in the original recipe it calls for two cups toasted pecans, flavored oil (no idea what that is, I just used normal oil), and sour cream (I used Greek yoghurt because we had some).
I also put in twice as much pineapple. That was an accidental modification and I'd recommend just the normal amount of pineapple because then I had to add more flour.
     1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
   1 cup oil
     1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I think this really made a difference in the flavor, YUM)
   2 teaspoons vanilla
    4 eggs
    8 ounces crushed pineapple, with juice
    Whisk together:
    2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
   2 teaspoons baking soda
   2 teaspoons baking powder
  1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    Fold in:
   3 cups grated carrots. I had a bag of grated carrots, but it really seemed like the pieces were way too big so we ended up chopping them)
   1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I was out of pecans and almost out of walnuts. Next time I'll use the two whole cups because I loved the crunch and there wasn't quite enough for the amount of pineapple.)
    For the frosting:
    The original recipe calls for 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted. I just couldn't see pecans in my frosting so I left them out. :P
    3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) salted butter, soft
    1 and 1/2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, soft (12 ounces total)
    4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    6 tablespoons real maple syrup (I used Grade A)
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons maple extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    nuts and carrots for garnish
Instructions: preheat over to 350F.
Whisk all the dry ingredients.
Mix all the wet ingredients. (See all the pineapple? I still didn't clue in. Only later when I had carrot cake soup did I check my can and realize I'd used a 20 oz can instead of 8oz.)
Ednaaaaaaa!!!! She's very energetic in the spring and although it's not quite warm enough to go without a coat, she was ready to work!
 She whipped the frosting up in no time. She's a champ!
Bake for 45-50 minutes in two 9 inch cake pans. Let cool for 20 minutes, carefully release the cake from the pans and flip onto a cooling rack. When perfectly cooled, trim, frost and assemble.
 My little guys wants to decorate with the carrots and since we could just pick them off, I said, "Why not??" There... raw carrots instead of the frosting variety.
 All in all, a delicious recipe! I really liked the pineapple addition, plus the yoghurt. Very moist (probably because too much pineapple, but it still didn't fall apart) and perfect for a fun family dessert!

   And a little reminder that The Pepper In the Gumbo is free for only a little while longer! 310 four and five star reviews!  You can get it here

And if you've already read Book One, there's always the next in the series, plus three more, the last releasing later this month! I just loved this couple... When I reach the end of a series I always get sentimental as I look back at my first books with the first characters. *sigh*
 Happy weekend, everybody!



  1. I love carrot cake with pineapple. I LOVE IT! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who messes up can size when it's unusual... We always buy big cans of everything and it's so funny! Last year when Casey was making Christmas carrot cakes for me, she tripled something, so then we converted to a triple batch and it was carrot cakes galore! And we discovered our trick of making Texas Sheet cake out of brownie mixes when one of the girls tripled the water... Ooops! So then we went big time sheet cake and it was amazing!

    Gosh, this looks good. I can't wait to try it with maple frosting, Mary Jane, because I'm a NY gal and I love real maple syrup. It's just special.

    Thank you for this, and what a wonderful series of books! Absolutely delightful!

    1. I totally laughed at the "carrot cakes" galore because we've done that with pizza dough. We usually triple the recipe (because 8 personal pizzas needs a lot of dough) but somehow the salt got multiplied by 6, not 3, and we had to double our triple... That day we decided to assemble and freeze some, but other days we've just decided to go ahead and make a crazy number of whatever and see who we could gift them to. A lot easier with cupcakes than pizzas, haha.

      Agreed, real maple syrup is amazing. And this is awful to admit but I actually didn't know that I was consuming fake syrup until college when I met a girl from Vermont who refused to eat the fake stuff. WOW. I never knew I was settling.

      And I'm sad to leave this series. I'm VERY tempted to squeeze in one more book but I've already committed to another project so... Maybe I'll revisit it some day. *sigh*

  2. Oh my goodness, carrot cake is my favorite cake and to put maple syrup in the cream cheese frosting. I'm heading for Oregon NOW. That sounds so yummy. Oh wait, its cold up there. I might have to break down and bake it myself. We celebrated our 49th anniversary yesterday so guess I could do something special. smile

    1. Heehee! It's all gone! But we can make you more. :)In fact, we'll make you another for the road and you can share it with your pickleball friends and your dear hubby!

      FORTY NINE YEARS! You've been married longer than I've been alive and I'm OLD.

      Congratulations! That is a true accomplishment!

  3. I haven't made carrot cake in years and years and years and years, a really looooonnnnng time. Haven't even had a slice of carrot cake in just about as long. Now I'm drooling and putting it on my must make soon but I'll halve the recipe 'cause that looks like it makes a lot of cake!

    Virginia -- are your books only in ebook format? Or available in print as well? Must go check that.

    1. The first is available in print and the rest will be available in print by the end of the month! I can't figure out the formatting for books for the life of me so I have to hire that out. Beyond my skill set!!

    2. The first is also in audio if you prefer that format. If you click the link, it will show you what's available.

  4. Oh YUM. My gosh now I'm craving carrot cake.
    (LOVE this blog/its clever name! ;) )
    Signed, A Northern Belle

    1. Welcome, Meghan! Glad to meet a Northern Belle! :)

    2. Hi Meghan! Sweet, isn't it? It was founded (correct me if I'm wrong, ladies) Ruth Logan Herne (the Yank), and Missy Tippens (the Belle). After a few years (sometimes in 2012, I think) they added Jan (the Midwesterner), myself (the Northwesterner/ Fresh Pioneer), and Mindy (the Southewestern).

  5. Congrats on finishing the series! It is sad to leave characters.

    This cake sounds delish! Tell the kids I love their decoration. :)

    1. They say 'thank you'!!

      And really, I'm sort of in mourning. My series have previous characters interacting with the main couple, so I feel like I've been with several of these lovely people for almost two years. I will miss them and the antique bookstore TERRIBLY.

  6. Bless you! I have been looking for this recipe. Had a slice at a bakery and loved the pineapple addition. It adds just the right moisture ... waaaay too good. I like the idea of adding yogurt.

    Of course the title "The Pepper in the Gumbo" is making me hungry for gumbo. I'm not sure visiting here is a good idea ;-)

    Super covers!

    1. Hi there!
      I have to admit, I'm more of a gumbo fan than a carrot cake fan, but maybe that's because we don't really get gumbo here? We have to make it ourselves!
      Carrot cake is in every store on every corner. :)

    2. Nancy, gumbo sounds good too!

    3. Missy, years ago an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina's destruction started a restaurant in this area. Wonderful gumbo. No carrot cake, though :-)

    4. Sounds amazing, Nancy. While at my first RWA conference in New Orleans, my critique partners and I took a cooking class. We learned to make gumbo. It was a lot of work but worth it! :)

  7. This is my absolutely favorite desert in the whole wide world. I am living vicariously through this page today. And I love it with pineapple in it.

    Thank you. Thank you!!

    1. You're very welcome! Unfortunately, the cake was a week ago and been gone almost as long so looking at these pictures makes me want MORE.