If you are a Carrot Cake Lover…this one is dense and filled with flavor – especially the additon of herbs to the frosting!

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I’m a Carrot Cake Lover – don’t know about you…there is just something comforting for me in this vegetable laden dessert (although I often will eat a small slice for breakfast!). I love a carrot cake with a dense texture – I don’t want it light and fluffy – I want it to be a STATEMENT! I also give my chickens the peelings from the carrots – so they get a special treat too when I make this cake!

I initially developed this recipe years ago (no carrots) – it was for a Pie and Cake Company out of Vermont for a book – as I vaguely remember, it was an Oatmeal Caramel type of cake with coconut added to the frosting. I transformed it shortly after, and developed it for my own purposes – as my family is wild about Carrot Cake – especially, my daughter, Kim. I actually sent my initial Carrot Cake recipe to a bake shop for them to do her wedding cake, per her request!

This variation I am about to share is more dense, more flavorful, and the herb, Pineapple Sage, was added into the frosting for an added dimension of flavor. I understand that many of you will not have access to Pineapple Sage – you might want to experiment with mint, lemon verbena, or some other herb that would be flavorful without overpowering the cake itself.

You could do this as a layer cake, a bundt cake, or a loaf. I have chosen to do it in a spring-form pan. I add nuts – you can omit them or add raisins…try your hand at making this recipe your own…and become a true Carrot Cake Lover!

Cardamom Carrot Cake fresh out of the oven

Cardamom Carrot Cake fresh out of the oven

Cake frosted and herb leaves added for garnish

Cake frosted and herb leaves added for garnish

Frosted Cardamom Carrot Cake with Pineapple Sage Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake close up and personal

Cake close up and personal

Not a frosting fan - use powdered sugar to dust your cake!

Not a frosting fan – use powdered sugar to dust your cake!

Cardamom Carrot Cake with Pineapple Sage Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12-16 servings

Ingredients for the Cake:
Vegetable spray
2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned, not instant)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2-3 green tea bags
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups hand grated carrots (previously washed, peeled, and trimmed)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional – or nuts of your choice)

Ingredients for The Frosting:
5-6 large leaves of pineapple sage (optional)
15 ounces cream cheese (softened)
3/4-1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Special Equipment: 10-inch springform pan
Directions for the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 10-inch springform pan; set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, add the boiling water and tea bags. When tea is well infused, add the oatmeal; let soak for 15-20 minutes (or longer).

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter with both white and brown sugar, adding them gradually to the butter and beating until fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating (still on medium speed) after each addition. Add vanilla; beat in oatmeal mixture.

In a medium-size bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. On low speed, add the flour mixture in small amounts to the oatmeal mixture. Mix until well blended, about 2 minutes.

Add grated carrots (optional – nuts and raisins), mix until well blended.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 55-60 plus minutes or until toothpick gently inserted in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back. Transfer to wire rack; cool for 40 minutes. Remover outer springform ring; cool completely.

Directions for the Frosting:
In a food processor, chop the pineapple sage. Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix. Add the vanilla and continue to mix until well blended.
Make sure your cake is completely cooled prior to frosting it.

With an offset spatula, frost your cake on top and on the sides…a Lazy Susan works great for moving the cake around to frost!
Note: I remover the cake from the bottom of the spring form pan with a large cake lifter – placing the removed cake onto a cake plate.

If you are not a frosting fan, sift powdered sugar over the cake and garnish with strips of clean carrot.

Serve your beautiful cake with tea or coffee

Serve your beautiful cake with tea or coffee

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