Tropical Carrot Cake… In Mason Jars!! (with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting)

Girls nights for a foodie involve cooking creative recipes… at least for me!

I was trying to take a nap (which is impossible, I can’t sleep during the day, I feel like I’m wasting time) but instead I dreamed up this creative twist on carrot cake.

A perfect girls night with carrot cake in jars!

Read on for my methods to madness… 

I love Ina Garten’s Carrot and Pineapple cake, but I just wanted to change it up. Also, I didn’t have pineapple. So I reached deep into my frozen fruit in my freezer and found a ripe cut-up mango! I thought, Mango is similar to pineapple, why not!

I also like really spiced carrot cakes (as in spices). I am OBSESSED with cinnamon. So I bumped up the cinnamon. Also, nutmeg goes great with carrots. And I thought a little bit of ginger would add something extra. (It did! you’ll notice it almost has hints of gingerbread!)

Then I’ve been wanting to try cakes in jars ever since I got my mason jars. When we started baking them, I only put them in for 25 mins. We cut into them and they were still gooey on the bottom! I put the jars back in 3 more times, adding 10 mins until they finally got nice and cooked all the way through, and were a little crispy on top.

When they came out, I wanted to layer the cream cheese in the middle, almost like a layer cake. I ran a knife around the edge of the cake in the jar and plopped it onto a cutting board. I cut mine in 3 pieces, but really it depends on how many layers you want. Since they were baked all the way through they cut nicely.

I layered: cake, frosting, cake, vanilla ice cream, cake, frosting

I think next time I’ll do ice cream on the top, because since the jars were still hot the ice cream basically melted into the cake, which made it taste really moist, but no ice cream in the middle! The frosting got nice and warm being in the middle of the cake.

This was perfect. Its like when you eat a cake and you’re not done with your piece but all the frosting is gone, so you run the cake knife on the edge of the cake that’s left just to get more frosting… except you don’t feel guilty about ruining the aesthetic presence of the cake haha.

TROPICAL CARROT CAKE 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1  cup vegetable oil
  • 1.3 cup applesauce
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 pound carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh mango

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Butter 12 mason jars. (I used half quart and still had extra which I just froze to make a cake again later! If you use bigger maybe you won’t have that problem)

3. Beat both sugars, oil,  applesauce, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla.

4. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice baking soda, and salt.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

6. Toss the raisins, coconut and pecans into the mix and stir with a spoon. Fold in the carrots and mango.

7. Fill each mason jar halfway full with batter. If you have leftovers, make a loaf, muffins, or freeze the batter.

8. Place mason jars in roasting pan with water filled up to about an inch. Bake for 50-60 mins, checking to make sure the bottom of the jars are fully cooked. The tops may get a little crispy.

BROWN SUGAR WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE

1. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

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