Easter is coming quicker than quick, and it's time to start planning that Easter Brunch or Easter Dinner menu! Or maybe its not brunch, but linner (lunch & dinner), like we are hosting down on the farm this year.
We will be serving the traditional ham at our brunch/linner, along with more of a potluck style meal. I'll be cooking a few other dishes to go with the ham as my contribution. I thought about scalloped potatoes, but Grandma's potato salad is tradition and a must have. Aside from the ham and potato salad, I haven't thought about it much, with the exception of dessert. Dessert first, am I right?
Enter carrot cake. Very traditional and very seasonal. It's the perfect blend of sweet cream cheese frosting, hearty sprouted flour, and the freshness of spring carrots.
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While carrot cake is a standard tradition at most Easter brunches, this one really takes the cake. (hehe). It's a wee bit different than most carrot cakes which one might encounter. This carrot cake is sugar free - refined sugar free that is.
Baking treats when one has a sugar allergy can really be quite the challenge. Thankfully, I'm not allergic to maple syrup in small amounts. Enter Maple Carrot Cake.
This carrot cake really takes well to the sweetness and depth that maple syrup brings. Its just the right amount of sweet without going over board and leaving you with that sugar coma at the end of your fabulous Easter Brunch.
I'm also enjoying baking with sprouted pastry flour from Granite Mill Farm. Sprouted flour is not only healthier and easier to digest for most, but adds a yummy texture to this cake as well. Feel free to sub an unbleached white flour for a lighter, less nutty cake. Make sure the liquid is also adjusted as a sprouted flour tends to soak up more liquid, and that same amount may not be needed if unbleached white flour is substituted.
With a big crowd for Easter, a sheet cake is the simplest form to bake this recipe in. Though it can be baked in many different ways. If you are going for the layered look, feel free to bake this cake in two, 9 inch round pans. Cool and then layer the yummy cream cheese frosting goodness between the two layers and all along the outside.
If there are lots of littles around on Easter, throw this batter into a muffin pan and make them cupcakes (which also allow quicker cooking when in a pinch.)
Even if baked in the sheet pan, as we did here, the servings may be cut into squares, triangles, or maybe you have a carrot cookie cutter and you can go all out.
The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, tools on hand, and time.
While this cake was created to avoid a sugar allergy while still enjoying a traditional treat, it also inspired a tea blend. Harvest Carrot Cake Rooibos tastes almost like this cake. But with less calories.
You truly can HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO... I mean drink it too.
The base of this tea is made with a red "tea" from Africa called Red Rooibos. It doesn't actually come from the tea plant (camellia sinensis) but a different type of bush. Rooibos is more of an herb. This makes rooibos naturally caffeine free. Red Rooibos has a nutty, vanilla like flavor to it. Paired with sweet maple, farm dried carrot pieces, and raisins, it is pretty much like melted carrot cake in your tea cup. If you'd like to try it out, find it in our farm store here online.
Without further ado, incase your in that, "I need an Easter dessert recipe NOW" mode, we present to you our healthier, heartier, Harvest Maple Carrot Cake Recipe.
Now it's off to plan the rest of my Easter menu with dessert checked off of my list. Do you gather with family for Easter? Is it for breakfast, brunch, dinner, or dinner? Let me know in the comments below!
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