Mini Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Glaze
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
From Food Network Kitchens
Whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt keep these cakes flavorful and moist while adding fiber and protein. Each cake gets 1 teaspoon of sweet[ cream cheese glaze-far fewer calories than the multiple tablespoons of frosting piled onto your typical cupcake.]
- Pan release spray, for greasing
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup 2-percent Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups shredded carrot (about 3/4 pound)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch fine salt
- Pecan halves, golden raisins and/or ground cinnamon, for garnish, optional
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 mini loaf pans or a 12-cup regular muffin pan with pan release spray.
Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool and then pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped but not ground.
Combine the chopped pecans, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the brown sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and eggs in another bowl. Stir the carrots into the egg mixture. Fold the carrot-egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide evenly among the prepared pans. (Don't be alarmed if the batter seems skimpy; the cakes will rise once baked.)
Bake until the center of the cakes bounce back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze: Mix together the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cake and use the back of the spoon to spread. Garnish as desired.