Root to stem carrot cake? Yep! We used whole wheat flour to make this Classic Carrot Cake topped with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting & a bouquet of carrots roses complete with carrot top leaves. The whole wheat flour pairs well with the earthiness of the cake which is perfectly balanced with the not-too-sweet frosting.
For the Carrot Sheet Cake
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/ 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/ 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/ 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/ 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/ 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/ 2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 cups finely grated carrots (from about 6 large carrots)
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/ 4 cup raisins
For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
- 1/ 4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/ 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1/ 4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Rainbow Carrot Roses (Optional, for Decoration)
- 3 to 4 rainbow carrots, with tops
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and applesauce.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Add the carrots, coconut, walnuts and raisins and fold until incorporated. Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. When the cake is done, run a knife around the side of the pan to help it cool. Let cool completely while you make the frosting.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Whip until well combined and the mix starts to look light and fluffy.
Add cream cheese frosting to the cooled cake. Set aside while you make your carrot roses.
To make the carrot roses, peel the carrots and reserve some of the tops. Rinse the tops with cold water, then set aside to dry. Peel the rainbow carrots into thick strips with a y-peeler. Add strips to a microwave safe plate and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until the strips soften slightly.
Starting at one end, roll the carrot strips up tightly, forming a rose. Set aside while you repeat the process with the remaining strips.
Add carrot roses to the top of the frosted cake, and accent with reserved carrot tops (to look like leaves) if desired.