Brown Sugar Carrot Cake with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

My husband's grandparents live near us, and our kids have a special relationship with them.  I made this cake for my grandmother-in-law's birthday today.  She's responsible for making sure our hair looks fabulous at all times, is the reason we have a flowerbed to enjoy, and is the most gracious hostess you'll ever meet.

I made this sweet, spicy carrot cake in my 6" pans (highly recommend the Parrish's Magic line).  One, because it's the perfect size to serve the 6 of us without leaving tempting leftovers sitting around afterward.  Two, because 6" cakes are aDORable.

I got to sample the cake from the cuttings I made to even out the layers.  While I was doing it, a scene like this unfolded on either side of the table.

My son in particular, who can count "chocwhat cate some?" among his first inquistive phrases (that's "some chocolate cake for me, please?" for those that don't speak toddler), had been watching the cakes like a hawk ever since they came out of the oven.  And as soon as I set to decorating, I had him at one elbow and my daughter at another, little eyes and noses just peeking over and staring longingly.  I shared my samples, amidst rapturous cries of "yummy! yummy!"

Brown Sugar Carrot Cake
(6" round version, double if using two regular 9 or 10" pans or one 9x13" pan)

1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/8 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. AP flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 c. grated carrots
1 c. chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together vegetable oil, applesauce, and sugars.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.  Beat flour mixture into egg mixture.
  4. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  May require longer for larger pans.
  6. Turn out of pans, cool completely, and frost.

Cinnamon-Honey Cream Cheese Frosting (fills and frosts a two-layer 6" cake)

4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
2 T. shortening
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (heaping)
1 T. heavy cream
2 c. confectioners' sugar

Cream together cream cheese, butter, and shortening.  Beat in honey, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Beat in sugar a cup at a time, and add cream until desired consistency is reached.  Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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