Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake

I’ve mentioned before that I have a slight, very minor obsession with ooey gooey butter cake.  Red Velvet and Blueberry, Chocolate and Strawberry Lemonade are just a few that I’ve done and trust me, there are many more I’d like to do.  I just don’t want to bore you all!  However, this Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake is in a whole other realm of yum and I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad I went with my obsession this week.

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake Bars

So how good is this ooey gooey cake?  Let’s just say my husband took one bite and then proceeded to tell me to remove it from our house immediately!  Haha.  The bottom layer of spice cake combined with the ooey gooey carrot cake filling is phenomenal.  The filling is studded with white chocolate chips, toasted pecans and pineapple tidbits.  Yeah, yum.  It’s definitely one of my favorite ooey gooey cakes thus far and I think would make the perfect treat this Easter Sunday!

Enjoy!

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake
 
Ingredients
Spice Cake
  • 1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Ooey Gooey Carrot Cake Filling
  • 1, 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 16 oz. (3¾ c.) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ t. Nutmeg
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
  • 1½ c. White Chocolate Chips
  • ½ c. Pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 1 c. Finely Grated Carrots
  • 1, 8 oz. Can Pineapple Tidbits, drained
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Spice Cake Layer
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the spice cake, egg and melted butter until combined. Pat evenly into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
For the Carrot Cake Filling
  1. Still using the electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter until combined. Beat in vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate chips, pecans, grated carrots and pineapple. Pour evenly over spice cake layer. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup white chocolate chips. Bake for 40-45 minutes until center is firm. Let cool completely and cut into pieces.
Notes
Makes 24 pieces.

 

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Whole Grain, Low-Fat Carrot Cake

I can confidently say that after making this healthy version of carrot cake, I will never, ever make the regular, sugary, fat-laden version EVER again.  I can’t even believe I’m saying that!  I just couldn’t believe how good this cake was not to mention it’s full of fruits, veggies and whole grains.  I made it for a dinner party and it was a huge hit!

The only thing I was a little unsure of was how the cream cheese frosting would turn out.  I wanted something pretty close to the real thing so I read up on ways to make my own powdered sugar out of Sugar in the Raw and much to my surprise it worked!  All you need is a coffee grinder, food processor or blender, throw the sugar in and give it a good whirl and voila!  Homemade powdered sugar!  Ok, so it’s not quite as fine as the real stuff but close enough!

This cake was totally delicious, moist and guilt-free!  I promise you will L.O.V.E. this cake and never want the “real thing” again!

Whole Grain, Low-Fat Carrot Cake
 
Ingredients
Carrot Cake
  • 2 c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2 t. Baking Soda
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Fine sea Salt
  • 3 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ t. Nutmeg
  • 2 Large Eggs, 3 Egg Whites
  • ½ c. Safflower Oil
  • ¾ c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1½ c. Sugar in the Raw
  • 4 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 c. Grated Carrots, squeezed dry
  • 8 oz. Crushed Pineapple, drained
  • ½ c. Chopped Black Walnuts (or toasted pecans)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 12 oz. Organic Neufchatel Cheese
  • 1 c. Sugar in Raw, processed to powdered sugar consistency in coffee grinder (or food processor/blender)
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla
  • ⅓ c. Black Walnuts (or toasted pecans)
Instructions
For the Carrot Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a medium bowl beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in carrots and pineapple. Fold in black walnuts.
  3. Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake in oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat Neufchatel in an electric mixer until smooth. Add processed sugar and beat until granules have fully dissolved (there should only be a few). Beat in vanilla.
To Assemble Cake
  1. Trim edges off of cake and cut in half. Spread half of frosting on cake and place other cake half on top. Spread with remaining frosting and sprinkle with black walnuts.
Notes
Serves 16.

 

 

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Dino’s 24 Karrot Cake Company

In case you don’t live in the Ozarks or anywhere near Branson, MO you might not be familiar with an entertainer named Dino but he is actually fairly well-known for his musical abilities in these neck of the woods.  He is also known for his carrot cake.  Yes, carrot cake.  Supposedly it’s an old family recipe that had been passed down and he decided to open up a bakery featuring the carrot cake as it’s star and of course added a few more tasty cake options.

I had been hearing about this carrot cake from family members who lived around that area but never made it in to Hollister, where his first bakery is located.  So a couple of weeks ago when Jeremy and I were in Branson, I discovered he had opened up a second location at The Landing.  I was so excited!  I’d finally get to try his famous carrot cake!

He didn’t have a ton of options on the menu (which is probably a good thing for me since I can be so indecisive) but what was available all looked so delicious it was hard to decide.  And it’s not like we could order 12 different things…these were cake slices, not little cupcakes, so it was all a bit more pricey.  I think the slices were around $5 and the cupcakes were $2.50.

I decided I wanted to try the 24Karrot Cake (obviously) along with a Pumpkin Cupcake.  The carrot cake, was really good and very rich.  It was super moist and had chunks of walnuts, coconut and pineapple all through it.  It didn’t have quite as much spice as I normally like in carrot cake and it actually tasted a bit buttery to me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

The pumpkin cupcake was another story…it was absolutely horrible.  We both took one bite and had to throw it away.  The cake was very dry and hardly tasted like pumpkin and the icing was just bland and hardly had any cinnamon in it at all.  It was very odd and I honestly just wondered if something went wrong with that batch.

Jeremy chose the Chocolate Fudge Cake and I have to say it was both our favorite choice by far.  The chocolate cake was divine and it was filled with layers of light chocolate buttercream and the whole thing was covered in chocolate ganache.  It was awesome.   Somehow Jeremy’s choice always ends up being our favorite!

Oh and the cinnamon rolls looked AMAZING and I noticed lots of people buying those and I so wanted to get one but didn’t.  I will definitely try one next time.  If you’re down at The Landing to do some holiday shopping, be sure to stop in and try Dino’s bakery!

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St. Louis and Cheesecake

This weekend I went to the Joyce Meyer conference in St. Louis with a few other lovely ladies.  I’ve been several times before and it’s always a wonderful time of awesome music and challenging teaching.  It’s also a great time to sneak in some shopping and splurge on some good eating out!   On Friday, our sessions were at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. so during that gap me, my sister Hannah and friend Nicole high-tailed it to the Galleria for a marathon shopping session.

One of our stops was Urban Outfitters where I found these Kitty Cat Measuring Cups.  I am a HUGE cat person, so I pretty much died when I saw them.  I still regret not getting them.

I also came across this toothpaste at Urban Outfitters.  As much as I love cupcakes, I’m not sure I want to brush my teeth with them.  That just seems…wrong.

After the last session on Saturday, we went back to the Galleria for the Cheesecake Factory.  I know, I know it’s a chain and all but I’m sorry, I love the place.  We had some awesome salads and then left.

Just kidding!  Well, we did have salads but we most certainly ordered cheesecake too!  And no, we didn’t share a piece, we each got our own piece.  That’s right.  Total gluttony.  And it was sooooo worth it.  Here is a picture of all three of them taken with my crappy cell phone.

And here are some beautiful stock photos of what we got.  Much better.

My sister Hannah got Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake.  It. Is. So. Good.  Layers of carrot cake, vanilla cheesecake, cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans.  Amazing.

I got the Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake which consisted of Raspberry-Vanilla Cake, Creamy Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Lady Fingers and Lemon Mousse.  It didn’t have the lady fingers and didn’t quite look like this photo and wasn’t really my favorite, BUT it was good.  Just not my favorite.

What was my favorite?  My friend Nicole’s choice, the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake.  OMG.  I know that phrase is overused but seriously, OMG.  It was so, so, so good…a yummy brownie crust with a hint of coffee in the uber-creamy cheesecake filling and some seriously rich chocolate mousse and ganache on top.  I was *this close* to choosing the Kahlua cheesecake and I was KICKING myself for changing my mind at the last minute.  However, Nicole couldn’t quite finish all of her piece so like the good friend I am, I volunteered to help her out.

I had such a great weekend and was so sad to see it end but I’m thankful for the girl time and most importantly, God time.  And now, I’m gonna shut down my computer on this dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon and hold my husband’s hand as he rides the emotional rollercoaster that is fantasy football.  Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday evening.

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Lola’s Pastries and Eatery

Jeremy and I recently had the chance to visit a restaurant, Lola’s Pastries and Eatery, in Nixa that I’ve been meaning to try out for awhile. I had heard that they have delicious, made-from-scratch desserts and that the food is quite good too so I was curious. On our way back from Branson a couple of weekends ago, we finally stopped in to see if the desserts lived up to expectations.

Lola’s is actually a former house that was converted into a restaurant and has a nice tea room feel to it. They have a pretty good breakfast and lunch menu and of course lots of desserts to choose from. We hadn’t had hardly anything to eat that day so we decided to split a BLT sandwich in hopes of curbing the inevitable sugar rush. The sandwich wasn’t bad but it was shockingly void of key BLT players…one half of the sandwich had ZERO bacon and the other had maybe 1 1/2 pieces. Like they forgot to put it on! It came with chips and we added a side salad which was small but tasty. We probably should have said something about the sandwich since it wasn’t cheap (about $7) but didn’t want to mess with it. I will say that the other sandwiches everyone else had looked quite “meaty” and tasty so I’m not sure what happened with ours. Anyway, enough of that, on to the main event–dessert!

There were alot of choices…strawberry cake, chocolate cake, coconut cream cake, key lime pie, carrot cake, Oreo cheesecake, no-bake cookies, monster cookies, cupcakes and more! It all looked mouth-watering but I knew for sure I wanted to try the strawberry cake since that’s kind of what they’re known for. Jeremy chose the carrot cake and we also got a piece of the Oreo cheesecake.

The Oreo cheesecake was really good, very smooth and creamy and not an overly sweet cheesecake at all. I didn’t think the Oreos were that noticeable though. The graham cracker crust was probably my favorite part, it was a little on the thicker side and had the perfect amount of saltiness to it to contrast with the cheesecake.

The strawberry cake was also very good and definitely made from scratch–no nasty strawberry Jell-O in this cake, just real strawberries! It was three (yes, three!) layers high with strawberry buttercream sandwiched between each layer and all over the top and sides. It was indeed delicious, just as people said. However, the strawberry buttercream was a tad too sweet for our taste. I think we prefer cream cheese frosting on our strawberry cake. But still a seriously delicious strawberry cake!

Jeremy’s choice, the carrot cake, ended up being our favorite. It was a massive three layer cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting between each layer and on the top and sides. The cake was super moist and very straightforward, no pineapple pieces or chunks of pecans or walnuts in the batter, just a moist, dense, perfectly spiced carrot cake. It did have chopped walnuts sprinkled on top which I thought were a nice touch. We loved it and will definitely be going back for more.

If you are in or around Nixa, check this place out!  The desserts do not disappoint!

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