Gingery Carrot Tea Cake With Cinnamon Glaze

Gingery Carrot Tea Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

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I’ve made this before, sort of, but today I changed the recipe, used a new pan to make things pretty, and took the glaze from one dessert to add to it, skipping the frosting.

We have company coming, and we’ve actually been talking about having these guys over for years. Literally. Years! I’m sure we talked about after we got married (11 years ago), after Nathaniel was born (8 years ago) and after Juliet was born (5 years ago).  So now that they’re actually coming, we want to serve something special. Dave is making flank steak for dinner, which has been marinating since yesterday, to be served with his famous roasted crispy potatoes, and I’m making dessert that should taste great, not be too unhealthy (their request), and look pretty (no easy feat for me).

So here we are.

For a little while, I had a cute and enthusiastic helper.

Juliet, ready to help

While I chopped the candied ginger, Juliet helpfully (!) started stacking the dry ingredients.


I thought it might be productive to do all the chopping and grating ahead of time, so once I was done with the ginger, I grated the carrots.

ginger and carrots

Juliet tried to continue stacking, but I stopped her when she tried to include my tiny bottle of $8 vanilla.

no more stacking

The last time I made this, I followed the recipe pretty closely, and used half a cup of butter. This time, I used a quarter cup of butter, and about an eighth of a cup of low fat vanilla yogurt. I put both into the bowl of the stand mixer, and let Juliet add the brown sugar.

Juliet adding sugar

Juliet satisfied

I mixed them for a while, as I wanted the same texture I’d get from all butter.

creamed together

Then I added two eggs, beating after each one. Juliet helped.

Juliet with egg

Juliet cracking egg

wet ingredients mixed

Once that was all mixed, along with the vanilla, I turned off the mixer and turned my attention to the dry ingredients. I let Juliet measure out the (whole wheat white) flour.

Juliet with flour

After that, she abandoned baking completely. She and Nathaniel made some deal for playing outside in which she couldn’t be on his team, but she could be his minion. For some reason, that appealed to her more than whisking. Maybe she was thinking more Despicable Me, less underling.

I added baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Then I dumped the candied ginger in there too.

candied ginger added

I whisked, paying extra attention to distributing the chopped ginger as thoroughly as possible.


And THEN I remembered that I’d forgotten to add the carrots to the other ingredients.

adding carrot

And THEN I realized that I was an idiot, and had only grated and added half a cup, which was half as much as I needed. I quickly grated another half cup, added it in, and mixed it all together.

wet ingredients, mixed

I removed the bowl from the mixer, and added the dry ingredients.

adding flour mixture

Once everything was properly incorporated, I took out my brand new 6-cup bundt pan. The last time I made this cake it was in a loaf, and I wanted something prettier this time for a special occasion sort of feeling. (I also think this pan might be the solution to the tiny, weird-but-delicious oatmeal cake I made a while back that didn’t fit into any of my existing pans.)

I poured the batter in, and smoothed it.

batter in pan

I put it in the oven and baked for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

baked in pan

I let it cool for five minutes, then removed it from the pan. Successfully.

cake out of pan

This time I waited until it had cooled completely to make the glaze, so I could use it right away. The glaze is easy: powdered sugar sifted with cinnamon, some vanilla, some water, and a whisk. I drizzled it over the cake, catching the drips with wax paper placed underneath.

cake, glazed

Looks nice, right? Looks even nicer without the cooling rack, wax paper, and glaze globs.

final cake

It’s kind of small, but cute, and I’ll serve it with some fresh strawberries on the side and coffee. We’ll all be full of steak, but everybody’s dessert compartment should still be empty at that point.



My version of Gingery Carrot Tea Cake (adapted from Hungry Girl por Vida)


1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped, candied ginger
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/8 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup finely grated carrots


Heat oven to 350, and grease or spray a 6-cup bundt pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and candied ginger until well mixed.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, yogurt, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, beating after each one.  Add the vanilla and carrots and beat until thoroughly combined.

Fold in the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave it in the pan for 5 more minutes, then flip it onto a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing.

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