Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I’ve decided that a week (and a half) is a perfectly acceptable length of time to mope around, contemplate buying a plane ticket and running way, and consume an embarassing number of microwavable chocolate mug cakes in order to get over the feeling of having a giant hole in my heart. But now I’m back to reality and back to normal! Thank you so much for your love on my last post. Your sweet comments meant the world to me and I adore you. Which is why I want to share with you this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!

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I really love carrot cake, especially with cream cheese frosting. It’s one of my favourite flavour combinations, yet for some reason up until now I had never baked one myself! To be honest I think I was a little scared to try out a recipe and be disappointed. More often than not, the carrot cakes I’ve tasted have either been too dry, too dense or lacking in flavour. I was so happy with the way this cake turned out though. The carrot cake itself is plain and simple, yet so moist and fluffy. I love how the grated carrots add a lovely pop of orange colour as well. The cream cheese frosting is perfection and if you’re like me and bake your cake in a bundt pan then you will have leftover frosting to snack on 🙂

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups grated carrots

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (16 oz) powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract


Directions
:
Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to first mixture and combine. Then add carrots and stir in gently. Pour into a greased and floured pan (bundt, sheet cake, 9 x 13 pyrex) and bake at 350F until cooked through, 25 minutes (sheet cake) to 50 minutes (Bundt pan), depending on the pan you use.  Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, cream togetherbutter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla and blend together very well until creamy. Spread on cooled carrot cake. Enjoy!
—SOURCE—
slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman
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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_0069Is it too early to start showing you pictures of desserts with frosting that looks so rich and dreamy you just want to reach through the screen and have a taste? Or is it too late to share any recipes that feature pumpkin? The answer as I have so clearly decided is no and definitely not! Who says you can only enjoy pumpkin from October till December? I’m pretty sure canned pumpkin is available in grocery stores year round and while pumpkin pie in the summer may seem a bit absurd and probably the last thing you would crave in the sweltering heat, right now there’s a whole lot of snow on the ground (at least where I am) and all I want is the comforting flavour of pumpkin cake topped with just the right amount of the silkiest cream cheese frosting. Plus I went to the gym today so that totally justifies this dessert!

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
For the cake batter:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin puree. Beat on medium heat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients for the cake batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Spread atop the bars and cut into squares.

—SOURCE—
Espresso and Cream, adapted slightly from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

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When I think of Fall, I think of apples and pumpkins. Apples first and pumpkins a bit later, but when baked, both usually have the same thing in common: warm, nutty spices and aromas that somehow help you to accept and perhaps even welcome the colder drafts of air and the changing colours of the leaves. These apple cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting seemed to be the perfect Fall-appropriate treat to bake. The process might seem a bit daunting at first, but I promise that these are quite straightforward to bake provided that you have a bit of time and patience. Once your kitchen starts to smell like a Cinnabon factory and you accidentally spoil your supper by having 2 or 3 of these instead, you will know that you have officially said goodbye to summer and can therefore commence your online shopping hunt for the perfect pair of fall boots.

I may have stopped making sense after the second sentence of that last paragraph, so I’ll just go ahead and take you through the cinnamon roll making process!  After you have combined all of the ingredients for the dough and it has almost finished rising, start to prepare your apple filling. Apples, butter and sugar will start to almost caramelize when heated to make a delicious, gooey filling.

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Once you’ve rolled out your dough and sprinkled on more brown sugar, spread out your apple filling as evenly as you can.

img_3750Roll up the entire thing (making sure to pinch the seam to seal) and slice into 12 rolls. If you do the math, that means that you can have….well quite a few rolls to yourself and I guess you can share a few as well.

img_3754Carefully arrange in a 9″ pan. I used my favourite 9″ springform pan, which definitely made it a lot easier to serve since the sides of the pan popped off quite effortlessly.

img_3757Bake, and try not to eat any before you have covered it all with cream cheese frosting.

img_3760Spread cream cheese frosting generously over the rolls, and serve!!  That was easy!

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 rolls

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract (or the scrapings from 1 vanilla pod)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 cups flour (20 oz), plus more for dusting surface
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

For the Filling:
4 Tbsp butter
2 apples (I used Braeburn), peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt

For the Icing:
2.5 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, buttermilk and half the flour together until well combined. Add yeast, salt, and the next 1 1/4 cup flour (leaving about 3/4 cup remaining) and knead on low for 5 minutes.

Add additional flour by the spoonful if necessary – you want the dough soft and moist but not overly sticky. Knead another 5 minutes until the dough clears the sides of the bowl (but might still stick to the bottom a bit).

Transfer dough to a lightly greased, large bowl and let double, 2-2.5 hours.

Just before the dough is finished, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the diced apple. Crumble 1/2 cup of brown sugar over top and stir in the cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and set aside to cool.

Spray or butter a 9-inch pan. Turn out the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Stretch and roll the dough into a ~12×18 rectangle with the long edge nearest to you.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar over the dough, leaving the top 1-inch bare. Spread the cooled apple mixture over the dough.

Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the the seam to seal. Gently press, squeeze, and stretch the roll to get an even thickness.

Cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch slices and place in the baking dish (you’ll get 12 rolls). Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Place the rolls in the oven with the heat off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and place it on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven and let the rolls rise for ~30 minutes.

Remove the water pan and rolls from the oven and preheat the oven to 350.

Bake rolls on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

While the rolls are cooling, beat the cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls and serve.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered. Rewarm in the microwave for best results.

—SOURCE—
Confections of a Foodie Bride

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