Gingery Carrot Tea Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingery Carrot Tea Cake

This cake was created to make someone feel better, so I’m hoping it does its job. I haven’t frosted it yet as I write this, but the cake smells fantastic, the frosting tastes wonderful, and I can’t wait to combine them in the morning. I just didn’t want to put the cake in the fridge and I know the frosting has to stay cold.

I’ve been wanting to try making a carrot cake for a long time. Most carrot cake recipes are just as high fat, unhealthy, and decadent as any other type of cake, so it took some searching to find something a little more reasonable health-wise, and also a nice size of cake that wasn’t some crazy double-layer birthday cake type thing. But I found it. I also liked that it included crystallized ginger, since I picked some up last week just in case something came up. Bonus!

When I told Dave I was going to use his super special chef’s knife to chop the ginger, he asked for the ginger and chopped it up himself. The knife is a fancy one; I bought it for him at Sur La Table and it’s so high end that you don’t sharpen it yourself. After two years, you send it back to the manufacturer and they sharpen it for you and send it back. Dave wasn’t worried about the knife, though, he was (rightly) worried about me, his clumsy wife. I didn’t argue, I just thanked him, and watched him chop, and asked him to chop more finely, and grated the carrots. Dave, in case you don’t know him, is a very nice guy.

There they are side by side, ginger and carrots.

chopped crystallized ginger and grated carrots

I put all the dry ingredients into a bowl: flour (whole wheat white), baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon (2 teaspoons instead of one), nutmeg, and Dave’s chopped ginger.

dry ingredients

I whisked.


I set that aside, and got the butter & brown sugar ready for the stand mixer.

butter and sugar

Once they were creamed together, I added the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.

adding eggs

Then I added in the vanilla and carrots.

with carrots & vanilla


It did look pretty weird.


Adding the flour mixture helped somewhat.

added the flour

I glopped it all into a loaf pan, and put it in the oven. Then I cleaned everything up and moved on to the frosting.

The recipe included instructions for a lemon cream cheese frosting, but I wasn’t excited about the lemon on on this one. I was, however, excited about only needing one up of powdered sugar (instead of making a mountain of frosting I’d never use) and not having any butter to add. I started looking for other recipes, but they all had butter and twice as much sugar and craziness. And then I thought to check the original recipe this one was adapted from, which came from the always reliable (if terrifying) Martha Stewart. And there it was, vanilla instead of lemon, and no butter. Score.

I beat the cream cheese and vanilla together, then added one cup of powdered sugar and just watched the stand mixer do its work.

frosting in mixer

It looked lovely.

frosting close-up

frosting close-up

I realized I had to wait until morning to frost. It was a sad realization.

But the carrot cake was ready. Mine was done just shy of 40 minutes.

out of the oven

out of the pan

I can’t wait to taste this, but it won’t be until morning. But it smells great. I love all those spices. And the frosting is delicious. I actually added a little more vanilla than Martha suggested after tasting it.

Without Pinterest I would never find some of these great recipes and food blogs! And what a cookbook can’t give me is reviews! I want to see what people say who try it, sometimes everybody makes the same suggestion, or substitutes ingredients, it’s all such useful information. And I love all the pictures. I can spend a ridiculous amount of time on foodgawker too.


We frosted.

cake with frosting

And it is delicious. Very delicious. Extremely delicious. I-want-more-right-now delicious.



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