Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carrot Cake with Dates and Cream Cheese Glaze

Don't let the rough phone photo fool you.  This is delicious!

We've started a new daily rhythm at our house and it is going splendidly.  Each morning we have a different themed activity.  Monday's theme is baking or cooking.  A few weeks ago, Leon (almost 5), upset with his father's request, said to his dad, "I was going to surprise you and bake you a carrot cake for your birthday.  Now I'm not going to!"  Keep in mind that Steve's birthday is in February, not like next week.  When I asked Leon about the incident and how Dad might have felt about it he clearly felt bad.  At first he claimed that it was all a cover up so that Steve would be REALLY surprised when Leon got him the cake.  Then he admitted that he said it because he was feeling angry.  He wanted to make it up to Steve so he asked if we could make him a carrot cake.  It just so happened that the next day was our baking day and I had all the ingredients.  So, here is our recipe for homemade carrot cake.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil (or 3/4 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained well
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots (I just finely chopped mine in the food processor)
1 cup chopped dates (optional)
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (optional, I usually prefer it without)

For the glaze:
1 4oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted (If I have kids tugging at my pants I just fluff it a bit with a fork)
1 tsp vanilla (I've also used almond extract with yummy results)
1 tbsp milk (added slowly as needed)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and lightly flour a 9x13 inch pan.  Set cream cheese on counter to soften.

In a large bowl beat together eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla.  Add pineapple. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Stir in carrots.  Fold in dates and pecans.  Pour into pan.

Bake 40 or 50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  (Mine is usually done at 40 mins.) Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool.

While cake is baking beat together cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla.  Add milk slowly until desired consistency is achieved.

When cake has cooled apply the glaze, sprinkle with cinnamon and devour.

This cake was a huge hit.  It was perfectly moist and just sweet enough.  I use a lot less sugar than most recipes so while you can usually get away with decreasing the sugar, just know that it's already a conservative amount.  And hey, it has carrots, so it's healthy, right?

I linked up at Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.  There are some great recipes over there so check em out.


  1. This recipe is VERY similar to our family's favorite carrot cake. I am NOT a carrot cake person, but this is one cake I will eat :) And I like to think that it's healthy with all of the fruits in it!

  2. Hi Rachel,
    I just love your Blog Title and its meaning. Your Carrot Cake looks awesome, we will just love it. Hope you are having a great day and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen
    A New Follower