This is becoming a bit of a feature here on Every Nook & Cranny – mini cakes, just enough for one serving. Admittedly a generous serving but is there any other way to enjoy a treat but generously? First there was the Chocolate Pecan Cake for One, then to ensure the vanilla lovers of the world were catered for too, along came the Vanilla Jam Swirl Cake for One. If you have two 250ml sized ramekins, you can make yourself one itty bitty little cake, no special equipment required. It’s so much fun and I am getting such great feedback about them (not to mention demands from friends to make them for them!). Carrot cake may be my favourite cake in the whole wide world (especially this one) so it was inevitable that I miniaturised it and created my latest recipe – Carrot Cake for One.
I’m a huge fan of any cake with spices in it and of all the frostings, cream cheese frosting is the best (if you agree, you have to try my Homemade Cinnabons). My recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice is at the end of this post if you need to whisk up your own. Carrot cake is perfection to me as it’s sweetness comes from the carrots themselves, the warming spice mix and for me, the addition of orange. Also, in this wee itty bitty cake, I’ve omitted extra added sugar altogether and used chopped dates in their place. Now, I am no fad dieter but having tried this with sugar (albeit it the unrefined coconut blossom sugar) and the cake was undoubtedly better for the naturally treacly flavour they bring to the party. Not to mention that glorious cream cheese frosting sweetened with maple syrup! I also see carrot cake as an excuse to indulge my love of pecans and pistachios which make up a good proportion of this sweet little cake.
P.s. with regard to how much carrot you need – I look for the smallest one in the bag, usually around 4-5 inches long and quite slender in width. And I tend to measure it by lightly packing it into my 2 tbsp coffee scoop three times.
- 4 tbsp milk (almond is lovely here)
- 1/2 capful of orange extract
- 1 tbsp rice bran oil (veg/canola will do)
- 3 medium sized dried dates, finely chopped*
- 5 pecans, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 6 tbsp grated carrot
- 4 tbsp self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tbsp double cream
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- Dash of lemon extract or lemon zest
- 1 tsp crushed pistachios to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
- Grease two 250ml ramekins and criss cross two long strips of greaseproof paper across the base so you have handles to get the cakes out - this is crucial as these are soft, tender little cakes.
- In a small mixing bowl, measure in all the ingredients in the order they appear.
- Mix together to distribute everything evenly and then divide the batter between the prepared ramekins.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the cakes are just coming away from the sides of the ramekins and a skewer comes out without any raw batter stuck to it when inserted into the centre of the cakes.
- Cool in the ramekins for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool using the greaseproof handles you made.
- When cold, whisk all the frosting ingredients together and taste for sweetness - add more maple syrup (honey is a good sub here if you are a fan) and use half to fill the cakes, half to frost the top. Sprinkle with nuts and serve.
- * = if your dried dates are very dry, chop them super fine and pour over the milk, orange extract and oil then zap in the microwave for 30 seconds. Give them a good mix and they should soften up in the liquid (you may need a second zap). Just allow it to stand for a few minutes before continuing with the recipe.