It’s not that I don’t like sweet food or making desserts. I do, I really do!
But my taste buds have a preference for savory food, so desserts are not something I commonly crave for.
That is why my cooking mostly revolves around meat, vegetables, and savory pastry recipes with a few ‘sweet turns’ here and there.
One such sweet turn was requested earlier this year by a good friend of mine.
Her birthday was coming up, and when I asked her if there was anything she would like to get from me as a birthday present, she simply replied: “Bake me a birthday cake!”
Next time I’ll know better and just get her something pretty, but a promise was made so I had to bake a cake for her.
She loves horses and helps in one horse riding school several times a week. And as horses get apples and carrots for treats, I thought she might find it funny to receive such treats from me as well.
The decision was made, and I decided to make a carrot cake!
While searching for carrot cake frosting ideas, I stumbled upon this photo and a recipe by Shine from Sweet and Savory by Shine blog. I immediately fell in love with an idea of mini carrot cake desserts and decided at the very same moment I’ll be doing those instead of a big birthday cake.
I already had a proven carrot cake recipe which includes grated apples, so I decided to stick with it and use Shine’s idea of presenting the cake.
Once everything was done, I brought the mini carrot cakes to her, and she was super pleased and really enjoyed the idea behind the cake, and also the flavors of the carrot cake.
As with any carrot cake, you can make it fairly quickly, and use any topping and frosting you like to change its taste dramatically.
My special birthday version of this cake can be seen in the recipe box below. And you can find this carrot cake recipe in Croatian here.
- Flour (200 grams/7 ounces)
- Granulated sugar (160 grams/5.65 ounces)
- Baking powder (6 grams/0.2 ounces)
- Eggs (4 eggs)
- Vegetable oil (120 ml/0.5 cups)
- Carrots - grated (170 grams/6 ounces)
- Apple - grated (90 grams/3.2 ounces)
- Salt (1/4 tea spoon)
- Sweet cream or whipping cream (200 ml/0.85 cups)
- Cream cheese (200 grams/7 ounces)
- Granulated suhar (50 grams/1.75 ounces)
- Vanilla extract (1 tea spoon)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320 F.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a deep mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar and salt).
- Combine eggs and vegetable oil in a measuring cup. Using a hand mixer, gradually add eggs and oil to the flour mixture. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Add grated carrots and apples to the batter and mix everything one more time with a hand mixer.
- Pour the carrot cake batter onto the parchment paper in a baking mold/tin sized 24 x 20 cm.
- Bake the cake at 160°C/320F for at least 15 minutes. Or longer if needed.
- Check if the cake is done by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake, and see if the toothpick comes out wet.
- For the cream cheese frosting, in a deep mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sweet cream or whipping cream, sugar, and a couple of drops of vanilla extract.
- Mix until sugar dissolves and you can no longer feel it underneath the fingertips, and a stiff frosting forms.
- Using round cutting molds, cut several circles out of the carrot cake.
- Top each carrot cake circle with cream cheese frosting and then layer them on top of each other in as many layers as you desire.
- You can decorate these mini carrot cakes with fresh mint leave and goji berries for a better visual effect.
- You can also add almonds or nuts to the cake batter when adding carrots and apples.
- Once the cake is baked, cover it with cloth so it can stay moist and it doesn't dry out.