Carrot Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m a huge fan of carrot cake. Until now, it’s always been with the classic cream cheese frosting. However, a recent adventure with molasses has created a new favourite frosting. It has a rich and creamy texture, and a bold flavour that will keep people guessing.

Another reason why I love carrot cake? I can eat it. Around the time I turned 30, I developed an allergy to raw carrots (oral allergy syndrome). My body can no longer tolerate them, along with a list of other raw foods (apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, dates, cherries, almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts and other tree nuts). However, cooking these foods denatures their proteins. While many people who share the same allergy are unable to eat these foods even after cooking, I am fortunate to be able to enjoy them once they are cooked.

Imagine how happy I’ve been to test and refine this recipe over the past month!

If you’re looking to bake a moist and decadent cake, give this a try and let me know how the recipe turned out for you.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2½ cups carrots, grated
  • ¾ cup raisins

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. (226 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • ⅙ cup molasses

Carrot001

Directions

  1. Grease and flour an 8-inch springform or a 9-by-13 inch pan.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle of the oven.
  1. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, mayonnaise, sugar (granulated and brown) and vanilla.Carrot002
  1. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Carrot004
  1. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg-mayonnaise mixture.
  1. Stir in the carrots. Fold in the raisins.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  1. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  1. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Carrot007
  1. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and molasses. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Carrot008
  1. Slather generous portions of frosting onto the cooled cake.
  1. Decorate with a light dusting of cinnamon, if desired. Let the frosting set in the fridge for an hour or two, then enjoy.

To download a printable version of this recipe, click here.

Baking Tips

If you don’t like raisins (and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t), substitute roughly chopped hazelnuts or walnuts for the raisins. The cake will still be moist and delicious.

To amp up the taste of ginger, add a bit of diced candied ginger to the batter as part of step 6. A piece or two should do.

If you’re not a big fan of ginger, go light on it but don’t remove it entirely. Grate a 1½inch piece of ginger. It will give the cake (and your tastebuds) a happy little kick.

For a bolder and more flavourful frosting, use ¼ cup of molasses.

For a milder frosting, substitute the molasses with honey. (I haven’t tried this yet, but it should provide a lovely flavour profile.)

If the frosting is too thick for your liking, thin it out with a tablespoonful of heavy cream while beating the frosting.

Extra frosting (if you have any) can be stored in a tightly lidded jar, in the fridge, for up to a week. Feel free to use the frosting on cupcakes to add a little something extra to them. Or you can enjoy it on its own – I won’t tell.

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