Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Walnuts

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Icing Candied Walnuts

I can’t have carrot cake without thinking back to fond childhood memories spent learning to bake with my mom. She started me early with traditional Greek cookies and sweets but carrot cake holds a special place in my baking journey. We had just won a food-processor in a raffle, I was seven years old. The food-processor came with a small inspiration booklet that included a recipe for carrot cake. I had actually never tried carrot cake, “is it good mom?” I asked. “Why don’t you try baking it and find out” she replied. I was immediately excited and looked down at the long list of ingredients, “Will you help me mom?”. I never considered she might say no. She smiled down at me and went into empowering mom mode: “You can do it. How about you make it on your own and I’ll help you eat it”.

She didn’t think about what a mess I was bound to make, she didn’t think about the perfectly good ingredients that might go to waste if I made a mistake, she thought if baking made me happy it would all be worthwhile.

I won’t lie, there were definitely some carrot cake flops along the way. Some spongy ones, some dry ones and some that didn’t rise at all. But something beautiful came from each try.

I gained confidence in the kitchen. I learned to believe in myself and to trust my instincts.

Eventually I even learned to successfully bake carrot cake from scratch without consulting a recipe book. Most of all I knew my mom had faith in my abilities, an invaluable gift. I hope I can make Elowyn feel the same way one day very soon. I baked a carrot cake for my mom’s 68th birthday yesterday and asked her if she remembered our carrot cake adventures. She said, “How can I forget? You would pretend you were on a cooking show and give me tasks to do. I always ended up having to grate the carrots!”.

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Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2.5 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Cardamom
  • 3 cups Grated Carrot

Carrot Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease cake pan
  2. Combine all Dry Ingredients and set aside
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients (other than grated carrot) and whisk well
  4. Slowly add Dry Ingredients and continue to whisk
  5. Add grated carrot to the batter and mix in with a wooden spoon
  6. Add half of the mixture to a cake pan and bake for 50 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center
  7. Repeat with the other half of the mixture
  8. Let cakes cool on cake rack before icing and layering

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Spiced Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom

Spiced Cream Cheese Icing Directions

  1. Whisk together the cream cheese and butter until creamy
  2. Mix in the vanilla and spices and then gradually stir in the icing sugar
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for 30mins before icing

Brown Sugar Candied Walnuts Ingredients

  • I cup Walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom

Brown Sugar Candied Walnuts Directions

  1. In a large pan heat butter over medium heat until melted
  2. AddΒ  walnuts to the pan and drizzle maple syrup over them
  3. Sprinkle walnuts with spices
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved (about 4-5 minutes)
  5. Remove walnuts from the pan and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  6. Allow to cool completely for 1 hour before using them to top the cake
  7. The walnuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

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Enjoy!!

What do you love in your carrot cake? Raisons? Pineapple Chunks? Coconut?

 

Recipe By: Sofia Martimianakis

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheree says:

    That looks soooooo good. Who doesn’t love carrot cake?

    Like

  2. mistimaan says:

    So yummy

    Like

  3. Kurian says:

    Thank you for connecting

    Like

  4. Chamblain says:

    This cake looks fantastic! I must try this recipe soon! And what a wonderful childhood memory to carry with you! I hope you do pass on the empowering sentiment to your daughter! Cheers! -Chamblain

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    Its seems so delicious!!!!! Thank u for the recipe!!

    Like

  6. Irene says:

    Lovely story and recipe! I like carrot cake so much, I often skip the icing, to concentrate on its wholesome flavour.

    Like

    1. Thank you! I usually do too but since this one was for my mom’s birthday I went all out (=

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Maylee Samuels says:

    Looks delicious!

    Like

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