Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mini Carrot Cake with Essence of Orange Frosting

I've made mini cakes before, but this one is by far my favorite!
The batter fit the pans perfectly, no spill over or extra mini muffins. Just two little 5-inch cakes topped with a zesty buttercream.

I decided to shake up this Easter classic by topping it with an essence of orange frosting instead of the typical cream cheese frosting. I can be weird about cream cheese frosting, sometimes I like it, but sometimes I don't.
But I  absolutely love this orange alternative, it lightens the flavor profile and makes for a very springy cake.

I can't wait to experiment with this recipe to create other mini cakes!
Aren't they just adorable?
I think mini foods are way more fun to eat! And they're perfect for those of us who are having smaller get togethers and don't need a huge layer cake. YAAAAY.

Mini Carrot Cake with Essence of Orange Frosting
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom
3 Tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup natural sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup grated carrot (about 1 medium carrot)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon orange liquor (Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier)

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Spray two 5-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, set aside.
 In a medium bowl, whisk together whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together canola oil, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla, buttermilk and grated carrots.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, powdered sugar, orange zest and orange liquor. Beat on low until smooth.
Do not frost cakes until they have completely cooled. Serves 4-5. 

If you do not have 5-inch round pans, the recipe should work in a 9x5 loaf pan. When I test this recipe in a loaf pan, I'll update with the baking times! Until then, I would begin checking it around 15 minutes, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. You can turn it into a layer cake by cutting the loaf in half and stacking the halves. 

Recipe Adapted from Carrot Cake Baked Doughnuts adapted from The FauxMartha


  1. What an adorable cake! I'm sure the orange essence frosting is delicious and goes terrifically with the carrot cake :)

    1. Thank you! It's a new favorite combination of mine!

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  3. So glad to see you're posting again. Love the styling of this cake and I'm all down with orange blossom buttercream. Cream cheese icing, although delicious can be a bit sickly sweet when people over compensate on the icing sugar.