Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 25, 2011 03:11 PM

Carrot Cake...Keep it Classic, or Mix it Up?

I'm making carrot cupackes for a holiday party and wanted to try something a little different. Anyone have any suggestions for an alternative to a cream cheese frosting...I was thinking about a ginger glaze or something with almond. Thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You can tweak CC frosting with other flavors like lime zest or passion fruit, or use masacarpone, but you can't beat mascarpone as much, it gets soupy. I like to add some cardamom to my carrot cake. A ginger glaze would go well with that, or the addition of pistachios, even some rose or orange flower water if you did a CC frosting.

    1. You could add chopped crystallized ginger to the cream cheese frosting, or toasted sliced almonds, or whatever you want (pineapple juice is always good too)... but I guarantee you that the people at the holiday party will be very disappointed if there is carrot cake without cream cheese frosting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pia

        Agreed - gotta have the cream cheese. I would split the batter and frostings. Make half the classic recipe, and play with the remainder. Maybe dulce de leche cream cheese? Or just a caramel drizzle over cream cheese frosting.

      2. I like the Carrot Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting on the Epicurious site. The frosting really complements carrot cake or carrot cupcakes. I have also used the frosting with another carrot cake recipe as well.

        1. For a twist, you can do a very thin cheesecake layer in the middle -- divide your cake batter in two, then make a very basic small batch of cheesecake filling (5 1/2 oz cream cheese beaten til fluffy, 1 egg fully incorporated, then 1/3 c sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp lemon zest) -- layer cake, cheesecake, cake, and maybe frost with a simple cream cheese frosting or sour cream glaze... or if it were me, i'd do a browned butter cream cheese frosting, but that's because i like to guild the lily.

          Or, to really switch it up, Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with a Cream Cheese Frosting (w/ or without browned butter) filling.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme

            I don't know why cheesecake and carrot cake aren't a more popular combination. I love carrot cake cheesecake--it's a perfect combination. A sour cream frosting would be the perfect tang to that.

          2. If you're making cupcakes, it would be relatively easy to frost half with cream cheese, and the other half with a more experimental frosting. I like to ice carrot cake with a mixture of maple syrup, strong coffee and confectioner's sugar. Your ginger glaze also sounds interesting - can I please have the recipe?

            1 Reply
            1. re: almond tree

              Thanks for the ideas. I used the ginger glaze on a chai spiced cake, it was delish! The recipe is as follows:
              3 tablespoons honey
              1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
              2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
              milk to desired consistency...I used 1/3 of a cup
              pinch of kosher or sea salt