Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This carrot cake recipe is a long-time favorite of ours for several reasons. First, being a bundt cake, it's a little less work than a layer cake. Second, because we've cut back on the sugar a bit and replaced some of the fat with unsweetened applesauce and reduced-fat sour cream, it feels a teeny bit less indulgent than other recipes we've tried. Finally, we've added hearty quantities of cinnamon and vanilla along with spiced rum-soaked raisins (our favorite trick for plumping up raisins) for some extra spice cake punch.
- 1 lb carrots, peeled
- 1/2 cup golden or regular raisins
- Spiced rum (optional)
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, thoroughly drained
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Generously butter a standard-sized bundt pan, flour lightly and set aside.
- Shred the carrots using the shredding disk on a food processor or the large holes on a box grater. Set aside.
- Place the raisins in a shallow, microwave-safe bowl, cover with spiced rum (or water) and microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Soak until plump (about 10 minutes), drain thoroughly and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Lightly beat the eggs with a fork in a separate, large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
- Add the dry ingredients and continue beating, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, until the batter is smooth and well blended. Fold in the shredded carrots, raisins and pineapple.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, thoroughly combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, chill until set, then cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.
- For best flavor, remove the cake from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before serving.