While winter has had its comforting perks, we couldn’t happier to welcome in the official arrival of spring! And with the springtime comes the festive celebration of Easter Sunday. Nothing says Easter like a classic carrot cake for dessert. It’s fresh, delectable and full of warm, delicious, cinnamon flavors. However, carrot cake can be somewhat of a polarizing treat. Bunnies may enjoy any carrot cake but everyone else seems to have their own preferences. To add nuts or no nuts? What about raisins? Though some may prefer their carrot cakes simple and unadorned, that’s not how we’re doing it today. To celebrate all things Easter and spring, we’re making ours fully loaded with carrots, nuts, pineapple and plenty of our dried goodies and finishing it off with a traditional cream cheese frosting.
Dried fruit is nature’s candy and are favored for their sweetness and rich flavor. Though many can be quite sugary, when used sparingly, they make wonderful ingredients in many baked goods and desserts. You can bake them into cookies and stuffings or layer them on top of cakes and tarts. Or you can even toss them into your breakfast items such as oatmeal and cereal. Melissa’s Produce offers a vast variety of dried fruit and nuts that can be enjoyed right out of the bag or incorporated into different recipes.
Carrot and Pineapple Cake
Yields: 8 servings
For the cake:
- 2 cups of fresh organic carrots, grated
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of Organic Walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup of Thompson’s Seedless Raisins
- 1/2 cup of Organic Pineapple, diced
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of white granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/3 cups of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 and 3/4 cups of white powdered sugar
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the toppings
- 1/4 cup of Dried Pineapple Rings, chopped
- 1/4 cup of Dried Apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup of Dried Currants
- 1/4 cup of Dried Coconut Chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar. Then add the vanilla extract.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts and raisins. Mix together until well combined.
4. Divide the batter between 2 cake pans and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if the cakes are finished baking.
5. Remove the cakes from the heat and allow for them to cool in their pans.
6. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Cream together the cream cheese, vanilla and butter until smooth. Then, add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth.
7. To assemble the cakes, place the first cake onto your serving platter. If the top of your cakes aren’t flat, then carefully make a thin cut across the top of the cakes. Use a spatula or knife to spread a layer of frosting onto the cake.
8. Place the second cake on top of the first cake. Spread the frosting on the top and on the sides of the cake.
9. Sprinkle the chopped pineapple rings, dried apricots, dried currants and coconut chips throughout the top of the cake.
What are your favorite Easter desserts? Describe to us your perfect version of carrot cake.