For some reason, carrot cake screams Easter to me. It is a cake that I love but have never made. Since we hosted Easter dinner, and we needed a dessert, I tried my hand at a variety of carrot cake that I found on Pinterest via Real Mom Kitchen (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens). I wanted to have a cake, rather than bars like the original recipe called for, mostly because I wanted to use my new round cake stand that I won from Bake at 350 a few months ago, so I made it in a 9-inch round cake pan instead of a 9x13 rectangular pan. What a delicious after dinner treat! It wasn't too sweet, and I know it's not healthy, but it has carrot and zucchini in it, so I can pretend, right? And the frosting…delicious! I never would have thought that a little lemon zest would freshen up a cream cheese frosting like it did, but it was perfect!
For the Cake:
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Carrot, shredded (I used about 6 smallish carrots)
1 cup Zucchini, shredded (I used 3/4 of a medium sized zucchini)
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. Any clumps of brown sugar will dissolve as you prepare the remaining ingredients, so don't worry too much about getting them all out. Fold in the carrots, zucchini, and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda; whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Spread the batter into an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan, or a 9-inch round cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
For the Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package Cream Cheese
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest (I used 1 lemon)
In a mixing bowl, beat all 3 ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars/cake.