No matter what your worldview is, Easter is a time to celebrate. It’s FINALLY SPRING, y’all! I realize it’s technically been spring for a couple of weeks, but it doesn’t always feel like spring on the “first day of spring.”
It’s the time of year when I go out every day to peek under the row cover in my raised beds to check on how the radish sprouts are doing (they are getting a little bigger!) And my various greens are all sprouting, and some of the little flowers are popping up, too! We’re probably only about a month away from our first spinach and radishes. I CANNOT WAIT. Yes, that’s totally a nerdy thing to get excited about. But that’s me.
Plus, it’s actually light into the evening these days! The sun is setting after 7:30 p.m., and that makes everything seem more alive and active. Thank goodness.
And have I mentioned that it’s warm and dry enough to ride my bike to work again? I rode in for the first time yesterday, and I am SO happy about it. Not only because it’s 600 calories and 90 minutes of cardio in the books, but I truly enjoy the ride in. I listen to a podcast, I get a mental reset – it just puts a better spin (ha) on my entire day.
So in my opinion, all that calls for a celebration. In the form of an epic cake, of course!
I love a good carrot cake! I’m actually not that much of a cake person normally – especially “white” or “yellow” cakes. But if the cake takes an assertive flavor turn, I’m in. For this carrot cake, not only is it chock full of toasted walnuts, shredded carrots and rum soaked raisins, but I swapped out some of the carrots for flaked coconut, which lends a delightful texture to the cake. And it makes it a little more tropical! If you’re a return visitor to this blog, you won’t be surprised by that.
I think it would be a delightful addition to your Easter table, whether you’re celebrating the Christian holiday or just stoked that stupid winter is finally in our rearview mirror. Cheers to both of those things!
Carrot Cake with cream cheese glaze and candied carrots
For the cake
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 14 oz grated, peeled carrots
- 2 oz flaked coconut
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 12 oz flour
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp ginger
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
For the glaze
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp half and half
For the candied carrots
- 2 oz carrots
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 oz carrots
- Soak 1/2 cup raisins in 1/4 cup rum for at least 20 minutes.
- Toast 1 cup chopped walnuts at 425 for 10 degrees, until they smell toasted but not burned.
- Combine 12 oz flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 Tbsp ginger, 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp nutmeg in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer, combine 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla, and 3/4 cup vegetable oil until well combined.
- Stir in the buttermilk and grated carrots, and slowly add the flour mixture in thirds. Mix until smooth, then add your rum and raisins, flaked coconut and stir.
- Bake in a bundt pan at 350 degrees for 70 minutes.
- Once it's cool, make the glaze: combine 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 3 Tbsp half and half in a mixer at high speed. Mix for 4 minutes until the glaze is uniform. Drizzle the glaze on top.
- To make candied carrots: heat 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbsp sugar in a small saucepan, and toss in the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until the liquid is evaporated and absorbed. let cook before topping the cake.