You know when you have this vision, a vision of flavours melding together perfectly to make a single bite of delight, when it hits your tongue the heavens sing down, birds chirp in the wind and your tummy calls in for more. A lot of times when I have these visions they don’t work out, it is either flat, something was missing, not spicy enough, not sweet enough, or the flavours quite frankly just sucked together. Well I am happy to say that was not the case with today’s recipe vision, it was complete success. At the moment it is my most favourite recipe I have put together and that is saying a lot because every recipe I put out is something I am proud of, something I know tastes amazing and will always work out. But today’s is just something special…
I had been craving carrot cake for days, weeks even. I think it is the anticipation of fall arriving my body is yearning for warmth, comfort and coziness, weekends spent creating new things in the kitchen on fall time rainy days when we are no longer being pulled by the sunshine to be outside soaking it all in. I am not sure what it is about carrot cake that just speaks fall, it really is an anytime of the year cake but there is that intrinsic comfort within it that goes perfectly with a knitted blanket on a grey afternoon, cozy on the couch sipping tea and eating...cake. I think you can see what my fall is going to look like.
Carrot cake is traditionally made with a cream cheese type icing or drizzle but I have made loads of cream cheese icings on this here blog of mine and I didn’t want you to start thinking that was all I could make so I decided to do to topping a little different and caramel just seemed like the right fit. It is gooey and creamy in all the right places and honestly might have won me over the traditional cream cheese ways of carrot cake.
I truly hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did (we, Paul couldn’t stop eating it) oh and this post is dedicated to my most favourite of co-workers D (who also happened to love this cake). I have been on this mission to collect bundt pans, not for any particular reason other than I think they are pretty, I feel like they can tell a story with cake and they are helping me step out of my baking box and come up with new ideas (hence this recipe) so all around they are just a perfect collection for a kitchen lover like me.
Anyways I had been telling D about this new collection of mine and one day she came back from a break with an assortment of mini baking pans, some were square, some were rectangle, some were tart like and some were these sweet little mini bundt’s. My eyes widened and I think she could sense my desire to add them to my collection because about 10 minutes later she came down to my desk and said I could have them as long as whatever I bake in them she gets to try. That was one easy deal for me to make. Thank you D, love you my wee work Momma!
spiced spelt flour walnut carrot cake + coconut milk honey caramel drizzle
2 cups of spelt flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground powdered ginger
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cups finely grated carrots
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup olive oil
1 tbsp of pure vanilla
pinch of Himalayan salt
1 can of full fat coconut milk
½ cup of honey
2 tbsp of organic butter
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch of Himalayan salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini bundt pans or you can use cupcake trays or even make this into one large bundt cake. All will work the same but the cooking time will differ.
Grate your carrots finely and chop your walnuts. In a large bowl combine the flours, spices, grated carrots and chopped walnuts. Mix and stir thoroughly, making sure all of the carrots are covered with flour.
In a medium sized bowl combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated and you have a runny batter (don't over mix).
Pour the cake batter into your baking tins or one large baking pan and cook for 30-60 minutes depending on the size of pan you are using. For the mini bundt pans it took 30 minutes, for a cupcake pan it would probably take about the same amount of time. For a large bundt pan I would say it would be between 50-60 minutes. You will know the cake is cooked when a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before flipping it out. Run the sides of the pan with a knife, flip upside down and knock a couple of times, voila!
For the caramel: I used this recipe from The Urban Poser with just a couple of minor tweaks and it turned out amazing!
Combine all of the ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan on the stove. Bring to a gentle boil and then turn the heat down to a simmering boil (I used a stainless steel pan and had the heat between 2 and 3 after the main boil) and let this caramelize for 30-50 minutes depending on the colour and thickness you want.
Stir the caramel with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes so it does not burn on the bottom, if you do get some burnt pieces just stir them into the caramel they will add extra flavour. Once you are nearing the end of the caramelization stir more often until you get the consistency you like.
Remove the caramel from heat and transfer to a small glass bowl. Cool for 5-8 minutes and then stir, consistently until it turns smooth and glossy.
I like to serve the carrot cake with the warmed caramel drizzled over top (by the spoonful), a side of ice cream would be a nice touch as well. Enjoy!