I love visiting my family in St. Louis for lots of reasons…I get to see mom, dad, brother and sister – and dog and cat! The lazy suburbs are a nice break from the constant go-go-go of New York City. I get to spread myself out over an entire house rather than a teeny apartment. And I get to bake for a whole group of people instead of just myself!
This last point, my friends, is a very important one. You see, it’s just me and my roommate at home in NY. And since she’s not a big fan of sweets – I know, what?! – and I probably shouldn’t eat ALL of what I make by myself, I’ve got to spread the wealth of my oven around to Dan and my friends to make sure every last goody is eaten while it’s still deliciously fresh. This is where the practical girl in me takes over. I tend to shy away from baking things that aren’t easily dividable and transportable – it’s always cookies and muffins instead of cakes and pies. Baking for the family in St. Louis, these little details are non-issues. Freedom!
So…you can imagine my excitement when I asked my sister what she wanted for our Christmas Eve dessert and she replied without hesitation – carrot cake! A CAKE! Hooray! Apparently she has recently discovered a special fondness towards carrot cake and her college winter break would not be complete without it. Fine by me! But I wanted to do a little something different, of course, so I topped the cake with a yogurt glaze instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting. And to make sure the cake really soaked up that glaze, I poked holes all over it and let the yogurty sweetness ooze in. I also did a bit of lightening up by using applesauce instead of oil and egg whites instead of some whole eggs.
Here’s my Yogurt Glazed Carrot Cake recipe, adapted from Baking With Agave Nectar‘s carrot cake:
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together carrots, coconut, agave nectar, eggs, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool in pans.
While cakes are cooling, prepare yogurt glaze by mixing together Greek yogurt, agave nectar, vanilla extract and salt. Once cakes cool, poke holes in them using a fork and remove from pans. Drizzle half of yogurt glaze over cake #1 and sprinkle with half of the walnuts. Place cake #2 on top of cake #1. Drizzle remaining glaze over cake and sprinkle with remaining walnuts. Note: You may want to do this over a wire cooling rack with something underneath to catch the dripping glaze. Makes for easier clean up!
The tip of a cake slice is the best part!
The cake got the approval of the fam! It was perfectly spiced and super moist, especially where the yogurt glaze seeped into the poked holes. And that glaze complemented the cake wonderfully. It was nice and light but still flavorful – I actually thought it tasted a lot like cream cheese!
Are you a carrot cake fan? What’s your favorite baked good with a vegetable star?