Carrot Cake Treats That Aren't Actually Cake

They'll win over even the carrot cake haters.

There are two distinct kinds of people in my house: those who "hate" carrot cake ... and me. My husband is anti-cake (I know, should've given that some serious consideration before we got married). And my kids, who take baby carrots in their lunchbox four out of five days a week, all say they won't eat "cooked carrots."

And here I am, just longing to fork that rich, cinnamony carrot-flecked dessert that graces almost every Easter table across the country — you know, except mine.

So, this year, I'm going to have my carrot cake and my family's going to eat it, too, mainly because there won't be an actual cake in sight.

Frosting lovers, rejoice. This recipe replaces the cream cheese frosting typically found atop a carrot cake with a thick layer of creamy cheesecake. What's better than a classic cake? Two, obviously. For an in-depth look at how to make this showstopping mashup, check out this handy how-to.

Food Network Kitchen’s Bunny Butts, Bunny Butt Carrot Cake Pancakes, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kate Mathis, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If you see pancakes as just a regular ol' breakfast and not one of the sweetest ways to start the day, you might be doing something wrong. These pancakes are a definite treat, featuring all the familiar flavors of classic carrot cake, including the cream cheese frosting! You'll impress kids of all ages when you serve these cute little bunny butts. They're a great Easter weekend breakfast, but there's really no reason you should limit yourself to just one Saturday or Sunday a year.

Close-up of Carrot Cake French Toast

Photo by: MATT BALL

MATT BALL

And while we're on the subject of sweet breakfasts, why not try Ree Drummond's 5-star French toast? This easy recipe feeds a crowd, and it requires only 20 minutes of prep work. Cinnamon, grated carrots and just the right amount of brown sugar give the make-ahead dish its carrot cakelike flavor, but my favorite part might be the buttery topping filled with chopped pecans — or maybe it's the sweetened cream cheese glaze. There's almost too much here to love!

01_Cookies_015.tif

01_Cookies_015.tif

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

My kids can't resist cookies, and they especially can't when a marshmallow cream filling's involved. These hand-held bites feature the expected grated carrots, but a touch of pumpkin pie spice, instead of simply cinnamon, adds a delicious flavor you never knew was missing from your cake, I mean, cookies.

These carrot-filled cupcakes are close to cake, yes, but everyone knows individual desserts are more fun. I've got a good feeling a plateful of frosting-topped cupcakes will disappear in no time, "cooked carrots" or not.

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