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Carrot Cake with Fat Toad Farm Caramel Buttercream

March 22, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn

This cake has a split personality. The cake itself comes from Heidi Swanson’s fantastic blog 101 Cookbooks. I went searching for a modest and simple carrot cake without gobs of oil and sugar.  Soon after, I happened upon Joy The Baker‘s carrot cake frosted with dulce de leche (caramel) buttercream.  So much for modesty.  My hope was that the tame cake and outrageous frosting would partner well.  They do.

This cake would be lovely on your holiday table.  Or equally as delightful for breakfast.  You may eat this unfrosted, with the caramel buttercream or use Heidi’s simple cream cheese frosting.  If you would prefer to only frost the top try halving the buttercream recipe.

Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, heated until just melted
  • ½ cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
  • 3 ripe bananas (1¼ cups), mashed well
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or try Butterworks whole yogurt)
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8×8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside. Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake – it’ll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

Fat Toad Buttercream Frosting
  1. Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar on low using an electric mixer. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps appear. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the FTF Caramel and beat to incorporate. Frost cooled cake using a knife or a pastry bag and tip.

Heidi’s Frosting

While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and maple. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking.