7 Ways to Enjoy Carrot Cake Flavors This Spring

Carrot cake is everyone’s favorite spring dessert, and it’s high time we celebrate it. Not only can carrot cake be enjoyed in slice form — the spiced flavor can also star in snacks and other desserts. Check out these 7 recipes that enlist carrot cake’s sweet and earthy ingredients.

Granola, muesli, yogurt

Source: iStock

1. Carrot Cake Granola

First up: Carrot Cake Granola from Gimme Some Oven. If you’ve never made your own granola, you’re in for a treat, and as winter subsides, it’s the perfect time to make your granola carrot cake-flavored. This recipe calls for oats, raisins, carrots, nuts, and a handful of warm spices, and better yet, it’s vegan and gluten-free. Whether you sprinkle the granola over your yogurt in the morning or simply eat it by the handful, you’ll enjoy the simple goodness of the homemade snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup grated or shredded carrots
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup shaved or shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the oats, carrots, pecans, walnuts, coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large mixing bowl. Toss well until combined.

Spread the mixture out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, pulling the mixture out at the halfway point and giving it a good stir before the final round of baking.  Remove and let cool until the granola reaches room temperature.  Then add raisins and toss to combine.

carrot cake oatmeal cookies

Source: iStock

2. Carrot Cake Cookies

Care for some Carrot Cake Cookies from Martha Stewart? That’s right, your favorite dessert doesn’t have to come in cake form. You can have your carrot cake and eat cookies, too! Just follow Martha’s directions for success and don’t skimp on the cream cheese icing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup packed, finely grated, peeled carrots
  • ⅓ cup dried currants

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat until combined. Cover; chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

To make cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and currants.

Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Turn half the cookies over, bottom side up; dollop each with about 1 teaspoon chilled cream cheese filling. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. Serve immediately.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

3. Carrot Cake Fudge

Next up is Carrot Cake Fudge, highlighted on Food.com. Everyone loves fudge, but not every home chef realizes how easy it is to make. Many fudge recipes require a candy thermometer, but this simple Carrot Cake Fudge formula doesn’t call for any fancy kitchen gadgets. The ingredients mostly consist of baking staples, and then all you need are some carrots and chopped nuts.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions: Prepare an 8-by-8-inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl, place the butter, flour, sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, carrots, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.

Microwave on high power for two minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a mixer and beat it with a paddle attachment and beat until well-mixed. Add another spoonful of milk if necessary to make it smooth. Stir in the nuts and raisins by hand. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the fudge for 3 to 4 hours or overnight, until firm. To serve, cut the fudge into small 1-inch squares. Store fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Iced Carrot Cake

Source: iStock

4. Carrot Cake

And of course we can’t do a carrot cake recipe roundup without highlighting a formula for the traditional cake itself. Follow Betty Crocker’s lead and you’ll have the quintessential spring dessert in no time. No one can resist the earthy sweet cake layer coupled with a cream cheese frosting, and this classic recipe shows you how to make the cake just right.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (5 medium)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Nutmeg, if desired

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease bottom and sides of one 13-by-9-inch pan or two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with shortening; lightly flour. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil, and eggs with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds or until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the salt; beat on low speed 1 minute. Stir in carrots and nuts. Pour into pan(s).

Bake 13-by-9-inch pan 40 to 45 minutes, round pans 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool rectangle in pan on cooling rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth and spreadable. Frost 13-by-9-inch cake or fill and frost round layers with frosting. Sprinkle nutmeg on frosted cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Roulade Cake, Cream Cheese

Source: iStock

5. Carrot Cake Roll

Should you be a fan of your desserts in roll form, try this Carrot Cake Roll recipe from Crazy For Crust. The treat is just as decadent as it sounds, and unbeknownst to many, anyone can perfect a cake roll. Just follow the steps and directions given by Dorothy, and you’re good to go. You won’t know how sweet and easy this Carrot Cake Roll is until you try it. Trust us when we say, be prepared for mouthwatering results.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling

Filling

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Beat eggs at high speed for 5 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended. Stir in carrots.

Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.

Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. When cake is cool, carefully unroll the towel. Spread the filling on the cake evenly, and re-roll tightly. Chill until it firms up a bit, at least 30 minutes to an hour. Dust with powdered sugar,then slice and serve.

Blondie Peanut Butter Bar Dessert, frosted brownie

Source: iStock

6. Carrot Cake Bars

Who knew carrot cake could be so versatile? Instead of serving up your dessert in slice form, try these Carrot Cake Bars from Buns in My Oven for a fun twist on everyone’s favorite sweet treat. They are simple, satisfying, and forgiving, and thus can be mastered by even the most novice of bakers. Requiring only baking staples along with carrots, pecans, and cream cheese, you really have no excuse not to make these bars this spring.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (about 6 medium carrots)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 3 to 3½ cups powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Stir in carrots, eggs, and butter until just combined. Fold in the pecans. Spread the batter evenly in a 15 -by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan.

To make the frosting, place the cream cheese and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the consistency you prefer. Spread frosting on the cooled bars. Cut into 36 bars.

Butter cookies, powdered sugar powder in a box

Source: iStock

7. Carrot Cake Crinkle Cookies

Last but not least: Carrot Cake Crinkle Cookies from Something Swanky. Just one more way to enjoy your favorite dessert. This recipe yields two dozen cookies and employs a shortcut: boxed cake mix. We won’t tell anyone if you don’t. Find your favorite carrot cake mix, add your normal vegetable oil, flour, and eggs, and get ready to not follow the directions on the mix’s box. Something Swanky instructs you how to make your favorite spring dessert in the form of cookies rather than cake, and the end result might even be tastier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) carrot cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Mix all ingredients together just until dough forms. Scoop out cookie dough by heaping tablespoons and roll them in powdered sugar before placing on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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