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A Better Carrot Cake (When You're in it for the Frosting)

April 1, 2014

Let’s face it: Carrot cake is good, but we’re in it for the cream cheese frosting. These parfaits leave the dream ratio up to you. No judgment for filling on top AND bottom.

Related: 14 New, Lighter Comfort Food Ideas

Carrot-Cake Parfaits

Vegetable-oil cooking spray 8 ounces carrots, peeled and grated (about 4 cups)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup apricot jam
Cream-Cheese Filling (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment; spray parchment. Whisk together carrots, eggs, sugars, oil, and fresh ginger. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Fold flour mixture into carrot mixture.

2. Spread batter in pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely. Cut out 16 cake rounds to fit in an 8-to-10-ounce glass, piecing together scraps as necessary.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons jam into each glass; layer with 1/4 cup filling, then 2 cake rounds, pressing to compact. Top each with 2 tablespoons filling and serve.

Related: Delicious Desserts in 15 Minutes or Less

Cream-Cheese Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
Pinch of coarse salt
1 cup heavy cream

1. Beat cream cheese on medium until smooth. Beat in sugar, zest, and salt. Fold in cream. Use immediately.

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