Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

My Bright Orange Life Saver {Carrot and Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing}


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 eggs
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!

48 thoughts on “My Bright Orange Life Saver {Carrot and Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing}

  1. I could eat it all! I love carrot cake anything with frosting or glaze on top!

  2. I love it when baking helps reign you in. I look forward to baking days over the weekend as a form of re-focusing.

  3. I feel happy just looking at this cake my friend, so tasty 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Oh Geni, this is such a sweet tribute 🙂 I can’t even imagine the range of emotions that you’re going through. Congrats to you (proud mama!) and your son for getting into an amazing school! It’s a new chapter of all of your lives, which I’m sure you all are very excited to begin. Baking is a great way to clear your mind and refocus. Btw, I LOVE your glaze idea! Honey + cream cheese+ lemon= MIND BLOWN!

  5. Gorgeous cake! Carrot cake and poppyseed muffins are 2 of my favorite things, so the combination of both must be amazing! Congrats to your son on getting into a great school!

  6. I missed my son terribly when he left home for college. It does take some getting used to! We put every ounce of “us” into being a mom, only to be left waving good bye. But that it is we work so hard for. We want our children to grew into healthy productive adults and college is another step of the journey. Baking is excellent therapy and your Carrot and Poppy Seed Bundt is a scrumptious diversion!

  7. This looks heavenly!!! I want to die from eating it!

  8. Happy empty nesting! I know it is hard to get used to and you are going to shed some tears but you would never want to hold him back as this is what you just spent the las 18 years preparing him to do. However, they will make you feel at home during those visits. If close enough, they will bring you their dirty laundry just to make you feel at home again.. LOL Sometimes they even come back, and go to school locally, so don’t get too giddy yet! I love love love this cake and it sounds like all the office workers and sweet and crumbly QA test analyzers did too! Take care, BAM

    • We are not quite empty yet since my 15 yr. old daughter will be at home, but it will be a little emptier for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bam. Yes, I am expecting some dirty laundry returns home. My test analyzers are always willing victims. 🙂

  9. The carrot bundt cake looks splendid with creamy cheese icing!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Geni!

  10. Oh Geni, that was such a bitter sweet post. Congratulations to your son for getting into a great school.
    My kids are still small and yet with every mile stone I feel your melancholy knowing that this stage in their life is over, they are not sweet cuddly babies any more and I can’t do anything to slow things down.
    You want them to grow and bloom into the wonderful people you know they are capable of becoming and still a little part of you wants to hold on. You want to freeze time, if only one could
    I love your life saver, everything about it is a breath of fresh air, such beautiful flavors and warm comforting colors

    • You really do understand what I am going through. I do think we are usually on the same wavelength when it comes to mothering Sawsan. It’s obvious how important your kids are to you and how much you treasuare them. Thank you for the nice compliments about the carrot cake as well. Take care!

  11. You made me cry. This cake was wonderful. Well done with the cake and raising the kids to adulthood. Not an easy task.

  12. The cream cheese icing with honey sounds delicious!

  13. Delicious and sweet- don’t worry- I’m sure it’s not the last of the laundry you’ll do for him! Those piles will still be squirreled away for home visits! And as long as you keep baking scrumptious desserts, there will be visits a plenty. 🙂

  14. This looks awesome! I need to get my hands on a bundt pan.

  15. Oh wow. That is all I have to say.

  16. Yum yum yum. Thats a really nice cake!

  17. Oh my gosh Geni! You do need a lifesaver! How do they grow up so stinking fast!!!! I cannot begin to imagine an empty bedroom and I just beside myself reading your post. I think I now too need a lifesaver. This looks like it should do the trick too. Good luck these next few weeks and CONGRATULATIONS! You should be so proud. You’ve done a wonderful job these past 18 years. You’ve raised a good boy that’s going to go off and do amazing things!

  18. what a moist and soft carrot cake, never paired with orange..
    tempting to try!

  19. Orange and poppy seeds added to a carrot cake…yum.

  20. Beautiful cake Geni, and I like the idea of poppy seeds…this would be great with a cup of coffee 🙂
    Have a lovely week!

  21. I do have a soft spot for carrot cake but your recipe takes it to the next dimension the only problem is i don’t have a bundt pan but who cares what i cook it in if it turns out looking as tasty as yours

  22. Now that’s my kind of life saver, especially with that truly lascivious glaze dripping down it! No great wonder it was gobbled up in nothing flat. Wish I’d been there to try a piece of it! 🙂 How lovely that your son is graduating and going off to a good school…but how sad I know it must be to have him leave the nest. I know you are so proud of him!

  23. I LOVE a bundt cake but I never thought to include these flavors into a bundt cake. I absolutely LOVE THIS. I definitely will be making this with some tea 🙂

  24. Seriously though, my mouth is watering just after reading the title of this post. Holy cow, everything I love in one! I’m bummed I don’t work at your office–I’m sure your coworkers were in heaven. Bookmarking!!

  25. Pingback: Land of Smiles « Eat, Play, Love

  26. Honey cream cheese icing? I could just … faint? Take it from me, as a kid who went off to school; we always come home when we need our socks washed, and our tummies filled. Mom’s who bake with love are always easy to come home to.

  27. What a fabulous cake! Think I shall see how it turns out making cupcakes.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  28. Reblogged this on Greater Working Women Ministries and commented:
    Too good not to pass on!

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