There's just something so deliciously autumnal about a carrot cake - I don't know if it's the cinnamon or the dense, moist succulent carrots, or even maybe even just the color. Whatever it is, I simply cannot pass one up.
This single-serving version is perfect. Whether you're looking to impress your guests at a small dinner party or simply amuse your taste buds, this little mug cake delivers big flavours in a small package. And in only 10 minutes, so you don't have to dedicate your entire afternoon to baking!
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Step 1: Get It Together! (Your Ingredients, That Is)
For the cake
4 tbsp grated carrot
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp flour
Dash of cinnamon
Optional: chopped walnuts, currants
For the frosting (with lots to spare, because you can never have too much frosting!):
1/2 block cream cheese
3 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp milk
Step 2: Grate the Carrot
Using a fine grater (a similar size you would use to zest a lemon), grate the carrot.
Step 3: Mix Your Cake Ingredients
Start by beating your egg. Add the brown sugar, the melted butter, grated carrot, the baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well, being careful not to overwork the mix.
Pour your mixture into an extra-large mug, or divide the batter between mugs or else it’ll overflow!
Step 4: Time to Cook
Microwave for approximately 1 minute and 45 seconds. Keep an eye at the 1 minute mark and microwave for 15 second bursts until the top of the cake looks dry. When the top looks dry and pulling slightly away from the sides, it's done.
If you’ve halved the batter into two batches, your cook time will be closer to 1 minute.
Step 5: Frosting Time
While waiting for your cake to cool (provided you actually are going to wait for your cake to cool), it's time to make the frosting.
Make the frosting by mixing together all ingredients and whisking with some good old fashioned elbow grease. (You can also use electrical help; we won’t judge.)
Step 6: Cut and Dress
Once the cake is cooled to room temperature, run a butter knife along the outer edge to loosen it from the mug. Holding the cake steady, slice it in half horizontally. If you've spread your batter in-between two mugs, this won't be necessary, but you may want to trim your cakes for looks.
Step 7: Frost Til' Your Heart Sings
When the cake is cool, trim off any uneven bits and cut in half into two layers. Spread or pipe frosting in between the two layers and also apply to the top. If you want to take it one step further and decorate your masterpiece, you can add anything from candied ginger, to walnuts, pecans, and even a ribbon of carrot!