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

SerlenaT Oct 25, 2011 03:11 PM

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. babette feasts Oct 25, 2011 06:49 PM

    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. Pia Oct 25, 2011 06:54 PM

      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
        greygarious Oct 26, 2011 11:41 AM

        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. b
        Bethcooks Oct 25, 2011 07:00 PM

        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. Emme Oct 26, 2011 09:37 AM

          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
            chowser Oct 26, 2011 11:57 AM

            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. almond tree Oct 26, 2011 10:24 AM

            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
              SerlenaT Oct 26, 2011 11:58 AM

              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

            2. i
              Isolda Oct 26, 2011 10:44 AM

              I think the almond taste would be very good with the carrot cake, but flavor it sparingly so it doesn't overpower or compete with the spices.

              I use a cream cheese frosting, but I flavor it with grated lemon zest and a little crushed pineapple that I've drained and squeezed the moisture from. It's not too original, but it's a bit more interesting than basic cream cheese frosting, which is often cloyingly sweet.

              1. j
                JudiAU Oct 26, 2011 10:54 AM

                I think carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are perfect together, especially if you don't defile the carrot cake with other fruits. I do like a bit or lemon or ginger in the frosting and I prefer frosting made with some butter, not just cream cheese.

                1. r
                  rasputina Oct 26, 2011 11:49 AM

                  I wouldn't mess with the frosting other than an add in or flavoring. I already make mine with lemon zest in it.

                  I suppose you could add chopped crystalized ginger to batter. I don't know, my long time favorite is the Silver Palate recipe with coconut and crushed pineapple added.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rasputina
                    hotoynoodle Oct 26, 2011 04:00 PM

                    i like to add orange zest both to the batter and frosting.

                  2. c
                    CanadaGirl Oct 26, 2011 05:13 PM

                    Not what you want to hear, but I'm always disappointed with "doctored up" carrot cake. I don't even want nuts, raisins, pineapple or coconut. Just plain please with cream cheese frosting please :)

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