Each year, Mr. Luxury, Little S, and I celebrate Easter with a special springtime dinner. We also have friends whose springtime celebrations include Passover*, Nowruz, Whitsunday, and even just a big party for the vernal equinox. Whatever you are celebrating this spring, I hope you feel the wonder of the earth coming back to life all around you. This is the small cake I love to make for our Easter dessert, and it’s seriously the very best carrot cake I have ever tasted. Use it for any (small) party you want!
The recipe for the cake, though not the icing, is adapted from the awesome folks at Ontario’s LCBO Food & Drink Magazine. Rosie made it a few years ago on her site Sweetapolita, and I have been in love with it ever since. I have changed the icing, however, since we just can’t live without sweet cream cheese at Easter dinner.
This cake adds orange and ginger where there is usually pineapple, raisins, or nuts. It is a fantastic change, and makes for quite a sophisticated piece of cake. If you are not sure about the crystallized ginger, give it a try. It adds!
Prepare a 6-inch cake pan by lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then spraying up the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Don’t skip the parchment– it ensures your cake will not stick to the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grate the carrots (I use a food processor for this), and finely chop the crystallized ginger. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg; stir to combine. Add the milk, orange extract, and vanilla and blend well. Add the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Gently stir in the carrots and ginger.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 32-34 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. When you pull it out, it can have some moist crumbs on it, but definitely not any liquid cake batter.
Cool on a wire rack in the pan for ten minutes, then turn the cake out to cool completely.
For the icing, combine softened butter and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, blend well. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Continue blending until smooth. Ice your cake! Serve at room temperature or cold, but please store leftovers in the refrigerator.
*Please note that this cake is not appropriate for Passover. Here is an excellent read on which foods are kosher for Passover.
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