Monday, July 06, 2009

100-Mile Desserts: Carrot Cake/Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Everyone says they have the perfect carrot cake recipe, but this is really one of the best sugar-free versions I've tasted. It could be vegan (if you weren't eating 100-mile and used non-dairy milk). It is adapted from the Candle Cafe Cookbook. It does not contain eggs, and is wheat-free. The cream cheese icing is very simple, and again sugar-free. I made the recipe into cupcakes instead of cake today, and sprinkled some 100-mile hazelnuts that we got last fall on half the cupcakes. They were more like moist muffins.

I wanted to make a small test batch of the icing recipe, so I just drizzled a little of the icing on the rest, but it could be made much thicker and swirled on in a more elaborate way. Garnished with edible flowers like calendula, borage or nasturtium, these cupcakes/cake would be gorgeous! As it's healthy, yet moist and decadent-tasting, I think this will be the celebration cake I make for our daughter's first birthday in a few weeks!

Carrot Cake/Cupcakes

2 cups organic spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups coarsely shredded organic carrots
1/2 cup organic apple or pear sauce

1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients together.
3) In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together.
4) Pour wet into dry and stir gently just to combine.
5) Divide the batter into 2 lightly greased and floured cake pans (9-inch). OR for cupcakes divide the batter into 12 muffin tins (lined with paper, or lightly greased).
6) Bake for 30 minutes (for cupcakes) or 35 minutes (for cake) until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in centre of cake/cupcakes.
7) Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting
In a food process or blender beat together:
8 ounces local cream cheese, softened
with enough apple juice or cider to create a frosting consistency
and a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten (to taste)

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