I absolutely love Easter. Why you ask? It means spring has arrived! Spring is full of life bursting through those winter grey days! Now everything seems a little brighter and everyone is a little happier! Me included! I spend my days walking around town with a big smile on my face as it seems every corner store is full of bright coloured tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. I’m jumping at any opportunity to invite friends over and enjoy a meal in the backyard or at the cottage as soon as the weather gets a little nicer.
I’m starting to plan which seeds I’ll be sowing this year and planting in my vertical garden (every year seems to be a trial and error). The sunflowers were lots of fun to grow, even though they seemed to be jumping on top of the cars in my little backyard! My tomato plants got out of hand, the bushes got so big I could barely get to them to pick the tomatoes. Although, I did get two batches of tomato sauce and a few other treats. I’m anxiously waiting to see if the tulip bulbs I planted last fall will start to bloom soon. Every year I deal with city squirrels digging up my bulbs, I know I’ve already lost two but I’m hopeful I’ll get a few this year!
Of course, another reason I love spring is the cooking and baking. New inspirations flow with the change of season and it feels like Easter is the starting point for this. Spring means lighter meals with vibrant colours, cooking with fresh asparagus, rhubarb, and fiddleheads start to make an appearance.
I’m excited to try new recipes to share with friends. I thought the perfect dessert for Easter would be a classic that feeds a crowd! These mini carrot cake loaves are the sweetest little cakes to finish off a spring celebration of any kind. They are topped with light fluffy, lemon cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. Each cake is filled with crushed pineapple, raisins, cinnamon and ginger – of course carrots and more pecans! I love the size of these mini carrot cake loaves as they look adorable on their own – perfect for a place setting for Easter if you ask me! If you don’t have mini loaf pans you can make them into cupcakes or even a large cake. Perhaps this year I’ll try growing carrots in my garden boxes!
Happy Easter and Spring!!
- 1 cup brown sugar - lightly packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cake & pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups grated/shredded carrots (approx. 3 large carrots, 300g)
- ½ cup pecans, chopped plus extra chopped nuts for topping each loaf (optional)
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup crushed pineapple
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease 18 mini loaf pans.
- Beat brown sugar, oil and eggs using a stand mixer. Beat for approx. 5 minutes until mixture is fluffy and pale in colour.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger together. Mix to combine.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture, mix until just incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together carrots, pecans, raisins, and crushed pineapple. Using a spoon, mix into flour/egg mixture just until combined. Spoon into mini loaf pans about ¾ full.
- Bake for approx. 15 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled ice mini loaves with lemon cream cheese icing and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.
I like to use canned crushed pineapple for this recipe. Canned pineapple has a lot of extra juice in each can. Make sure you are not adding a lot of extra pineapple juice instead of the crushed pineapple to the recipe.
You can freeze any un-iced loaves.
You can make cupcakes or a cake instead of making mini loaves. Watch your baking time as it will vary.
- 4 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using your stand mixer beat approx. 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Ice cakes when cooled and ready.
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