Carrot banana cake with dates and raisins, smothered with a dulce de leche cream cheese frosting is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. But add to that the fact that this cake has no sugar or butter, and you can literally see the smiles spread a mile! Yep, this moist and deliciously flavored carrot cake is studded through out with whiskey soaked raisins, dates and has cinnamon in it to warm you up! Bonus: Super duper easy to make.
In our house we do Happy. We do laughing till we fall off the couch. We do being yourself. We do comfort dressing. We do lots and lots of books. We do healthy without caring about body size. We do unabashed love for simple desi soul food like stuffed parathas and biriyani all too often. We do sweet nothings. We do live and let live. We do NO gossip. We do encouragement. We do friendship. We do lifting others up. We do love. And of course we do cakes, especially when they come in super delicious forms like this carrot banana cake with dates and raisins.
I chanced upon this delightful cake in American Test Kitchen’s website. Tessa of StylesweetCA had made it for ATK and boy the moment i read this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try! Tessa is also the author of the beautiful cookbook “Layered”. If you don’t own it yet, you should definitely try and get your hands on it.
Anyways coming to this cake, well of course it was lovely. I mean who can say no to carrot cake with cream cheese frosting right? But i truly feel the banana in this cake, makes it what it is! So much more than just a carrot cake. The carrot banana cake with dates and raisins has no sugar in it. Or butter. Instead its sweetened with organic honey and kept moist with yogurt, oil and bananas. I twisted it a little to my liking and decided to spice it up. Nothing spells fall better than a mildly spiced carrot cake in my very humble opinion.
With that thought in mind I added cinnamon, ginger powder and just a hint of nutmeg. Then I decided to make this carrot banana cake with dates and raisins a studded affair. Enter whiskey soaked raisins! I know rum and raisin is the usual combination, but seriously a good whiskey soaked raisin is so much better! And then the dates in the cake add lovely chewy bits of sweetness while also adding to the moistness of the cake.
For the frosting, I used cream cheese with salted dulce de leche and honey as a sweetner. The dulce de leche adds a certain new dimension to the basic cream cheese frosting and makes it way more adult. It is slightly salty and i love it, but if you aren’t too keen on salted frostings, use regular DDL.
Baked in a basic bread loaf, a square cake tin or even this gorgeous bundt pan from Kitchenaid, this carrot banana cake with dates and raisins is a stunner any which way you choose to look at it. This carrot banana cake with dates and raisins thankfully freezes really well too as does the frosting. Simply remove from freezer, thaw in refrigerator over night and whip once again before using the frosting.
A definite keeper for the coming seasons, this carrot banana cake with dates and raisins is my favorite way to do healthy desserts with no sugar, no butter!
carrot banana cake with dates and raisins.
A simple cake with no sugar, no butter but tons of flavor. This is moist and mildly spiced and smothered with a salted dulce de leche frosting making it irresistible.
For the cake
- 2 full ripe banana mashed really well
- 1 full cup packed grated carrot
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil or grapeseed/ vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup thick yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp ginger powder , use 1/2 tbsp if desired.
- 1/2 tbsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup whiskey soaked raisins soak raisins in whiskey for atleast 2 hours
- 8 whole dates pitted and chopped
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the dulce de leche frosting (optional)
- 1 pack or 200 gms cream cheese softened
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp salted dulce de leche , use unsalted DDL if prefered
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the cake:
In a mixing bowl, add the mashed bananas and the grated carrot. Mix.
Into the same bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients and the spice powders, Stir to combine. Now add the two eggs and whisk it in.
In another bowl, mix together the liquids ; yogurt, honey , oil and vanilla extract.
Now add the liquids to the flour + banana + carrot mix. Fold it in until well combined. Do not over mix.
Add the raisins and dates and fold it in once again. Now pour the batter into a very well buttered bundt pan or lined cake tin of choice.
Pre heat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
Bake in the middle rack for 50-55 mins or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
For the frosting
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and whip it using a hand help / stand mixer till light and creamy. Make sure it isn't too runny. Keep in the refrigerator till needed.
Once the cake ir out of the oven, let it cool for ten minutes. Then carefully invert onto a plate / serving platter. Cool to room temperature. Once completely cool, spread the frosting as thick as you like and keep it the refrigerator for 15-20 mins to firm up the frosting a bit.
Once slightly set, you can slice and serve!
Absolutely delightful with a cup of coffee.
- Keep an eye during the last 5-10 mins of the bake. Cover the cake with a foil if it starts to darken too quickly. Every oven is slightly different, so make sure you listen to your oven and not just the recipe timing while baking anything. I tell this from hard learned experience.
- You can store the leftover cake wrapped in cling film or a closed cake box in the refrigerator easily for 3 days. Or slice them up and store in a freezer safe box for upto a month.
- Since it uses two eggs, I strong recommend using only the very best vanilla you can get. I strongly recommend Sprig Gourmet's Bourbon vanilla extract which is my favorite and I use for most baking.
- If you do not want to use to eggs, substitute with another banana or even flax seed eggs. Apple sauce also works although I dont really do a lot of eggless baking, so you will have to ask an expert on that.