I'm going to keep this one short, folks, since I know we're all over our heads busy this time of year. And really, we should just focus on this absolutely amazing cake. We start with a hearty spiced carrot cake packed with ginger and molasses, from one of my favorite blogs - Lady and Pups. I've topped it with my favorite go-to cream cheese frosting spiked with a bit of cardamom and a variation on the ginger fries recommended in the original recipe.
Believe me - if you love ginger as much as I do, you're going to want to start frying up ginger sprinkles on a regular basis! Absolutely genius.
This cake is really pretty darn easy to make, and it stores in the fridge over night making it an impressive and convenient holiday dessert! Packed with all the spices we crave this time of year, there really is no going wrong here.
So, here you are! Gingerbread carrot cake, cardamom cream cheese frosting, and ginger sprinkles. All the holiday dessert you've ever dreamed!
Gingerbread Carrot Cake
10oz (or about 2 small) carrots, grated finely
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
- Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by buttering and flouring the edges, and lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Toss grated carrots with flour, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, sugars, fresh ginger, and eggs until smooth.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the milk and carrot mixture into the wet ingredients. Continue folding until the mixture is just incorporated.
- Divide batter between two cake pans, using a spatula to smooth the batter in each pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around the edge of each pan to separate the cake from the walls of the pan, then let the cakes cool for about 20 minutes in the pans.
- Turn the cakes out of the pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
3 inches fresh ginger
3/4 cup vegetable oil
- Prepare a space to place your cooked ginger by setting a few layers of paper towel over a plate or baking sheet.
- Peel the ginger, then slice it into shoestring pieces as thin as you possible can.
- Combine ginger and oil in a small pan, and place over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat to a temperature where it is bubbling gently with the ginger. If the oil ever starts to smoke, be sure to turn it down!
- Continue cooking the ginger in the hot oil until it starts to crisp up and turn a golden brown.
- Scoop ginger out of the oil using a slotted spoon, and place it on the paper towel to cool. Alternatively, strain oil through a fine mesh sieve into another container then place ginger on the paper towels. Either way, I definitely recommend straining your oil and saving it for later use (it'll have a nice gingery flavor!).
Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, softened
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
6-7 cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp whole milk
1/8 tsp cardamom
- Start by whipping the cream cheese for about 1 minute, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. It should start to get just a little fluffy.
- Add the butter and continue to whip for another minute or so, again allowing the mixture to fluff up a bit.
- Add syrup, vanilla, and cardamom and continue mixing until just combined.
- Add about 2 cups of the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Then alternate adding sugar and milk. First add about 1 cup of sugar and mix to combine, then about 1 Tbsp of milk and mix to combine. Continue this process until the frosting reaches a good consistency, or you've used all your milk and sugar.
- Finally, whip the frosting for about 4 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
Assembling the Cake
Once you have all of your pieces ready, this cake is a synch to assemble! Make sure to peel the parchment paper off of the bottom of your cakes, and take a moment to slice the top off of one cake should the tops be rounded (so they stack nicely!).
- If you did slice the top off one cake, use that one as your base. Set it on the plate or cake stand you intend to serve the cake on. I like to use three strips of parchment paper, about 4 inches wide to keep the plate clean. Slip them just a bit under the cake, working your way around so that the entire base of the cake has parchment between the cake and the plate.
- Scoop cup or so of the frosting onto the top of the layer. There will be no shortage of frosting, so go heavy if you're a frosting lover. Smooth with an offset spatula.
- Set the second layer on top of the frosting, and frost the entire outside of the cake.
- Use the ginger sprinkles to decorate the top of the cake however you like!