Think of this beautifully orange, and poppy spiked carrot cake, dripping with honey and cream cheese glaze as a life saver—those little ring thingies that you toss to someone that has gone over board so you can pull them in, not the candies. I basically threw it to myself, to slow down my life, to bring myself in the moment.
It was a fabulous diversion. It is in one word—perfection. Spicy, moist, bouncy with a little crunch and licorice-y bite from all those poppy seeds. Then I totally blinged out the icing. I whipped up a cream cheese icing, and added some honey and lemon and then let it drip lasciviously down the sides as it pooled up in the center. Yum, yum, yum and it is so gone.
I brought it to work, and it was totalled, with only one slice left that I had put aside. And why, you may ask (or may not ask), did I need a life saver? Because this Saturday is the beginning of the end my friends, or more accurately, a time for new beginnings. It is prom night for my son, then AP Tests come and go, then Grad Night and finally graduation. And before I blink, I will have an empty bedroom in our house and quiet Friday nights with no shouts from our kitchen of boys huddled over their computers.
There won’t be any stinky track socks a few mere inches from the hamper, and I won’t have a pile high of boys’ jeans on Fridays, laundry days, that he has “saved up” like a squirrel packing away nuts. I also won’t have my night time buddy who will drive with me to the local donut shop on a whim while we shoot the breeze in the car.
I am so proud of him for getting into a great school and so happy for the new turns his life will take, but I am a teensy bit melancholy too and for that I need my life saver, but alas, there is not even a crumb left of this scrumptious carrot cake. I guess I will have to soothe my soul with a new concoction…
Carrot and Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake Recipe from Roots, my new favorite cookbook by Diane Morgan
3 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. fine sea salt
2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. Canola oil
2 t. vanilla
3 c. peeled and finely shredded carrots (I put mine through the Cuisinart grating blade)
1/4 c. poppy seeds
Cream Cheese Icing by Me
4 oz cream cheese brought to room temperature
juice of one lemon
2 T. honey
1 1/2- 2 c. sifted powdered sugar
To make the cake: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a bundt pan amply with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with an electric beater, beat together the sugar, Canola oil and vanilla for two solid minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each egg.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and combine on low speed and repeat. Add the finely shredded and peeled carrots and combine on low speed or just stir in until flour has dissolved. Don’t over-mix. Beating on high at this point or over-mixing contributes to a tough cake.
Bake for 1 – 1.25 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean or cake is firm but slightly springy to the touch. Let cook for one hour in the bundt pan. After it has cooled for an hour, use a knife to loosen up all of the sides. Do this carefully and thoroughly if you want it to release cleanly. Put your cake plate onto of the bundt pan and slowly turn over and let the cake loosen out. IF it is not releasing, run a knife around the sides again. I had no problem at all getting this cake to release.
To make the icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a bowl, using an electric beater, beat the cream cheese and lemon juice together until cream and smooth. Add the honey and powdered sugar and beat on medium-high until cream and to a consistency that is able to be drizzled over the cake. Add more powdered sugar if you need to thicken it a bit, or add lemon juice or a table spoon of milk if you don’t want to too tangy if you need to thin it out.
Please enjoy….this one is a keeper!