Today at Organic Valley’s Headquarters in La Farge, WI it was -22°F, much colder with the wind.  When temperatures drop that low, when one pair of gloves just doesn’t cut it against the bitter wind, and when my glasses are so fogged up after stepping inside the building that it takes them 10 minutes to clear up: it is time for a slice of carrot cake and a cup of coffee.  This carrot cake is dense and moist; it is filled with not only shredded carrots but also an apple, and almond meal that adds to the great texture.  The spiced almond cream cheese frosting is smooth and rich with the perfect tang to balance the sweetness.  This hearty cake is substantial enough to stand up to a cold winter’s day.

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Carrot Cake

adapted from Carrot Cake, originally published in Martha Stewart Living

 

1 cup Organic Valley Salted Butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup Stonyfield Plain Yogurt

3 Organic Valley Large Eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 ½ cups shredded carrot (about 5 large carrots)

½ cup shredded apple (about 1 apple: peeled if desired)

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup almond meal

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F, grease and line two 9” round baking pans with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and shredded carrots and apple.  Mix on low until well mixed, at this point the batter may look curdled.  Do not worry, it will be fine.

4.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.  Add flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix on low, scraping the sides as necessary, just until combined.

5. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, spreading the batter to the edges of the pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6.  Remove the cakes from the oven, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen the cakes.  Flip out onto a cooling rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

 

Almond Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

 

¼ cup Organic Valley Salted Butter, softened

8 oz. Organic Valley Cream Cheese, softened

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons Organic Valley Milk

¼ cup sliced almonds

 

1. Add the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.  Whip for 1 minute on medium speed until no large chunks of butter or cream cheese remain.

2. Add the extracts and milk.  Whip on low speed until incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Increase the speed to medium high and whip for 2 minutes until the frosting is smooth, light, and fluffy.

3. Frost the cakes as desired.  Top with almonds