Tag Archives: dessert

Carrot Orange Pecan Loaf

I absolutely LOVE this recipe.  I could eat this carrot orange loaf every day.  I created it for my Cafe but have started making it at home on my days off because my kids can’t get enough of it and I love it because it’s LOADED with carrots.  Win win.

If you want it for breakfast it’s AWESOME just sprinkled with brown sugar, BUT if you want to make it more of a dessert (suggestion:  serve it warm with vanilla ice-cream!!!), just mix some icing sugar with fresh squeezed orange juice until it’s a thick spreadable texture and lather the top of the loaf with it once cooled.  Then top with crushed pecans if you want the nuts!  Soooooo good!!!

INGREDIENTS (makes one loaf)

  • 2 cups packed shredded carrot (at home I use a hand-held blender.  At work I just grate the carrot on a cheese grater!).
  • 1 large orange (all zest and juice used) (reserve a little orange juice if making the icing sugar glaze)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil + more for coating loaf tin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (+ more for topping loaf)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (or as much as you like!) pecans
  • optional:  1/2 tsp almond extract
  • optional:  powdered sugar

METHOD

  • In a large mixing bowl combine orange zest and juice, carrot, egg, milk, oil, vanilla and sugars.  Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl mix together cinnamon, baking soda and powder, salt and flour.
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients.
  • Pour mixture into a WELL OILED loaf tin.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • If NOT using icing sugar glaze, top with crushed pecans and sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar on top.
  • Bake for 65 – 80 minutes and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • (If glazing, combine orange juice with about a 1/2 cup of icing sugar to desired consistency and spread over cooled loaf. Add crushed pecans immediately before glaze hardens).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake - cut in half

I don’t post many of my dessert recipes because although they’re delicious, they’re not anything that different from the other ten thousand recipes already on the Internet.  This carrot cake, however, is truly wonderful and I haven’t found another recipe that gives me quite the same amazing flavour and perfectly moist texture, so I feel like this one is well worth sharing.

I have adjusted the spices to, what I feel, is perfection.  The addition of the fresh ginger really elevates the flavour of this cake.  I used half regular sugar and half brown sugar because I really like the depth of flavour that the brown sugar adds.  In my frosting recipe I only use about half the sugar that the ‘typical’ cream cheese frosting recipe calls for because I just don’t think this cake needs super sweet frosting.  However, if you like your frosting really sweet, simply add another cup of sugar (:

NOTE:  This is a 2-layer cake.  If you just want a smaller 1-layer cake, half the recipe’s measurements and only use ONE pan.  I would recommend making the same amount of frosting and freezing whatever you have left-over.

carrot cake - uncut

INGREDIENTS

dry ingredients:

  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/8 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cup shredded carrot (use a hand-held blender or cheese grater to shred)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (3 cups if you like it sweeter)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  • Mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Cream the sugar(s), eggs and vanilla until whipped and fluffy.
  • Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Add the ginger and carrot and stir until combined.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease TWO 9″ round or square pans and pour mixture evenly into both.
  • Bake cake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out ‘clean’ when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  • Let cool completely.

carrot cake - before frosting

  • While cake is cooling, make the frosting by creaming the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and combine.
  • Add the sugar and whip for a few minutes more.  NOTE:  The longer you whip it, the lighter and fluffier it will become.
  • Frost one layer of the cake then add the second layer and frost.

carrot cake - in casing

carrot cake - cash stealing some

 

 

 

Spiced Banana Bread (a family favourite!)

banana bread on plate

banana bread on plate

banana bread done in pan

banana bread done in pan

Whenever I have bananas that are starting to get too ripe I just throw them into the freezer.  Then when I want to make a smoothie or banana bread I just pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds (just long enough to be able to easily peel them) to defrost.  The key to this recipe is using frozen (then thawed) bananas.  It really intensifies the banana flavour!  I also use just a tiny bit of almond extract because I love the nutty, almost cherry-like, flavour it adds to my baking.

This recipe is a family favourite.  The kids love having this as a special breakfast treat and it’s great to pack as a snack when we’re on the go.  We even warm it slightly and serve it with caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream for a delicious dessert!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/3 c softened butter
  • 2 Tbsp canola/vegetable oil (you can omit the oil if you want less calories but it makes helps make the banana bread really moist!)
  • 3 medium bananas (from frozen or very ripe is preferable)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf tin.
frozen bananas

frozen bananas

wet and dry ingredients for banana bread

wet and dry ingredients for banana bread

  • In a food processor, cream together sugar and soft butter.  Add eggs and blend.  Add bananas, vanilla extract, almond extract and oil and mix on high speed until all is blended together.
  • In large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with spatula until combined.  Pour into loaf tin.  Sprinkle with a little brown sugar (you could also add some oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, or whatever you want on the top!) and place in preheated oven.
mixing ingredients for banana bread

mixing ingredients for banana bread

  • Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.  Time will vary slightly depending on the size of bananas used.  Let cool for 15 – 20 minutes.
Banana bread in loaf pan before baking

Banana bread in loaf pan before baking