A Southern Grace: internally iced

March 20, 2017

internally iced


Cream Cheese Swirl Carrot Cake. When I worked at a bakery (which, in hindsight, was completely awesome), the only thing I disliked more than making pie crusts was making frosting.

And I made A LOT of frosting.

Sifting copious amounts of powdered sugar is always messy, and I was never satisfied until the consistency of the frosting was perfectly spreadable and containing no pesky lumps. It was always a process, but the silver lining was that when I was done making the frosting, I got to apply it and decorate with swirls and rosettes and happy words! I've never considered myself artistic but I was almost always proud of my creations.

I still dislike making frosting, so when my husband started talking about carrot cake, I decided to compromise and put the frosting on the inside. This is a generously spiced, very moist, and dense cake, and those blobs of sweetened cream cheese scattered throughout the loaf are a pleasant and lovely addition. I would consider adding orange zest next time to either the cream cheese or the cake, as I think a little citrus definitely wouldn't hurt.

You could absolutely double this recipe to make a full bundt cake, and I'm sure it would look like even more of a showstopper. You could also add a glaze, but I found it unnecessary. Yes, I of the sweetest of sweet teeth decided additional sweetness was not required.*

*I did eat it with ice cream, though...

Loaf of Carrot and Cream Cheese
(printable recipe)
Makes 1 9x5-inch loaf cake
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated carrots (1-2 large)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream cheese:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined and smooth; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold the ingredients together until just combined.
Fold in the carrots and pecans, then spread half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.
To make the cream cheese filling, in a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy.
Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat on high speed until completely combined.
Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer on top of the carrot cake batter.
Spread the remaining carrot cake batter evenly on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes inside the pan.
After 15 minutes, remove the cake from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.


Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

And with the carrots you can call it healthy, right?

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a very clever idea, Grace. I love the flavour and beautiful swirls.

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

Oh my goodness this looks absolutely divine. I'm going to pretend that putting frosting on the inside makes this less of a cake, which means this is healthy. . .right? So I can eat the whole thing myself and not feel guilty :)

Recetas al instante said...

Fantastic cake.


Pam said...

This beats anything chocolate, any day! My fave cake and I wish I had a slice now!

Marjie said...

Wow! This looks terrific! I don't mind making frosting, although I cheerfully admit that I let my Kitchenaid mixer do all of the work, and I don't mind frosting a cake, but I hate frosting cupcakes. I do like your idea of putting the frosting in the cake and calling it a healthy treat. Genius.

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Frosting on the inside! I love it!!

Katerina said...

What a great idea! I love carrots!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I did an apple cheesecake bread which had a centre layer of cheesecake. It was so good! I must give this a go as it sounds awesome Grace :D

Pam said...

Working in a bakery would be so fun but dangerous for my waistline!

Love the idea of putting the frosting inside. I LOVE carrot cake and now have a huge craving for a slice of this beauty.

Marcelle said...

I really like the way you think, Grace! Carrot cake is Evan's favorite dessert and I know he'll love this twist on it. I will use your recipe next time I make him one...and I bet this was amazing with that side of ice cream! :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I'm typically not interested in making carrot cake. I'll enjoy it if someone else makes it but that's about it. But now... With this recipe, maybe I will have to bake my first ever.