With spring here and with Easter coming up many people will be enjoying carrot cake again. I have always loved making carrot cake and the thrill you get from putting shredded carrots in a cake (and still being able to call it dessert). I wanted to do something a little more interesting this year so I created a recipe for purple carrot cake. This purple carrot cake is made with purple carrots instead of the traditional orange carrots and is topped with purple cream cheese frosting. It is delicious and moist, and is a fun way to welcome spring back into our lives.
What you Will Love About This Recipe
Purple carrot cake will make for a unique dessert and a great conversation starter if you want to bring it to your Easter meal or next family meal. Other than its unique and fun appearance, you will also enjoy knowing it has 1.5 cups of vegetable in it! Note that you will never actually feel like you are eating a vegetable while eating this carrot cake.
Ingredients Needed to Make Purple Carrot Cake
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I mixed whole wheat pastry flour with white flour in this recipe to add some additional fiber and nutrition. I’ve noticed many stores do not have whole wheat pastry flour these days. You can usually find it at Whole Foods or on Amazon here.
This carrot cake is made with purple carrots, which can be found at many grocery stores. I found a bag of mixed colored carrots at my local Trader Joes, which included purple carrots.
I love how beautiful and unique purple carrots are. Their vibrant color brings joy to the eyes and to carrot cakes alike!
The cream cheese frosting is easy to make and can be made thinner or thicker, depending on how much milk you add to it. All you need is cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. You can add the fun purple color with freeze dried blueberries.
I originally tried to make purple food color from the peels of a large purple carrot by boiling them in water. The carrot peels did make the water turn quite purple, but when I mixed it into the frosting mixture, it ended up turning pink as pictured above. Acidity and alkalinity play a role in the outcome of colors with purple foods. The acidity of the cream cheese turned the frosting pink. The bowl of purple frosting at the bottom of the picture was made with freeze dried blueberries.
I used freeze dried blueberries from Trader Joes to give my frosting its beautiful purple color. The cream cheese frosting still tastes like traditional cream cheese frosting and does not end up tasting like blueberries. You can also find these same freeze dried blueberries on Amazon.
Be sure to strain the blueberries after processing in the food processor. Do this before adding to your frosting mixture to ensure that it stays smooth.
If you wish to skip coloring your cream cheese frosting you can always leave out the steps with freeze dried blueberries and you will not need to heat the milk. You would just mix regular cold milk into your frosting mixture.
Or if you want to make pink cream cheese frosting instead of purple, you can do what I tried first and boil purple carrot peels in 1/4 cup of water for about 5 minutes. You would add about 2 tablespoons of this liquid to your frosting instead of milk. Watch your purple water turn the frosting pink: a fun science experiment!
While this is a dessert, I am still impressed with the fact that one serving of purple carrot cake provides 3.5 gm protein, 2 gm fiber, 48 mcg folate, almost 55 mg calcium and 9 mg magnesium.
Additionally, the purple color in the carrots do not just add fun color. They also provide a source of anthocyanins which are antioxidants. Anthocyanins are protective against inflammation, cancer and heart disease. That’s my kind of dessert!
- Ingredients for Cake
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 C grated purple carrot
- Ingredients for Frosting
- 1 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 C powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp 1% milk
- Optional for color: 2 Tbsp dried blueberries, processed in food processor
- Oil 5X9 glass loaf pan baking dish. Preheat oven to 325°
- Mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Mix whole wheat pastry flour, white flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and combine. Fold in grated carrot.
- Put batter into glass loaf dish and bake until toothpick comes out clean, for about 50 minutes.
- Cool carrot cake completely before frosting.
- To make purple frosting heat 2 Tbsp milk in a small saucepan until hot; do not boil.
- Process dried blueberries in food processor and add to heated milk. Stir until milk turns a deep purple. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, catching purple milk in a bowl below.
- Use a mixer to beat softened cream cheese and butter with powdered sugar, vanilla extract and purple milk until smooth.
- Drizzle frosting onto cooled carrot cake, or use rubber spatula to evenly coat the top of cake with frosting.
If you do not want purple frosting feel free to leave out the steps to make the milk purple. You will just use plain, unheated milk to mix into the frosting. Adding more milk makes drizzling the frosting easier. If you want a thicker frosting to spread on top of the carrot cake you can use less milk.
One serving of carrot cake has about 96 mg phosphorus and 166 mg potassium.
Serving SizeOne slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 289Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 2.75gTrans Fat 0.4gUnsaturated Fat 13.25gCholesterol 60.5mgSodium 119mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 2gSugar 17.25gProtein 3.5g
Nutrition facts are calculated using data from nutrient analysis software that utilizes data from USDA and Nutritionix. Therefore, the nutrition facts are estimates based on general nutrient analysis data. Different variables may affect the accuracy of these nutrition facts. Variables may include different brands of food items used and any changes made to the ingredients called for in the recipe. Nutrition facts are most accurate when using nutrition fact labels on actual ingredients used.