Mini Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • For the Cake
  • Pan release spray, for greasing
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 2-percent Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups shredded carrot (about 3/4 pound)
  • For the Glaze
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Pecan halves, golden raisins and/or ground cinnamon, for garnish, optional

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 mini loaf pans or a 12-cup regular muffin pan with pan release spray.

Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool and then pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped but not ground.

Combine the chopped pecans, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the brown sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and eggs in another bowl. Stir the carrots into the egg mixture. Fold the carrot-egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Divide evenly among the prepared pans. (Don't be alarmed if the batter seems skimpy; the cakes will rise once baked.)

Bake until the center of the cakes bounce back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the glaze: Mix together the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cake and use the back of the spoon to spread. Garnish as desired.

Per Serving: Calories: 240; Total Fat: 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Total carbohydrates: 31 grams; Sugar: 17 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 49 milligrams; Sodium: 316 milligrams

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