Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and A Side of Cupcakes

Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Maple Sugar Sprinkles

Tom also wanted carrot cake for his birthday, no surprise. It is his favorite cake. He likes it with nuts and coconut and cream cheese frosting. 

This year I wanted to try to make the cake a little less decadent, so I started with a Cooking Light recipe to give myself an idea for how to cut back on the eggs and the fat.  But, I stressed myself out, too, by downsizing the cake so I could make some cupcakes to go with our friend's recovery meal.  It all worked out in the end, but I was wondering why in the world I was taking this much risk without trying it out first.  Pans were everywhere and my nerves were frayed but I pulled it off, thank goodness!

Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Cooking Light Everyday Favorites

9 T. butter, softened
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 t. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 small can of crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup broken pecans
1/3 cup raisins

1 small package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T. maple sugar sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I was making an 8 x 8 square cake for Tom and a side of cupcakes to deliver to a friend, but the recipe called for a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Spray with cooking spray; and line bottom of pan with parchment paper, or wax paper.  Coat again with cooking spray and set aside.

Place butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat until well blended.  Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients:  flour, baking soda, cinnamon and 1/4 t. salt, and stir with a whisk. 

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, mixing after each addition. 
Stir in carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts until evenly distributed.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cupcakes took 20 - 22 minutes.  The 8 x 8 pan took 40 minutes.  The recipe says a 13 x 9 would take 30 minutes.  It also says to be sure to turn the oven down to 325 degrees if you use glass.

Cool thoroughly before frosting.

To prepare the frosting, place cream cheese, butter and vanilla and salt in a big bowl and beat until smooth.  Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar beating at low speed -- do not over beat -- until smooth. 

Spread frosting over cake, and garnish with maple sugar crystals.


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