Banana Carrot Cake With Ricotta Honey Frosting

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Banana Carrot Cake with Ricotta Honey Frosting

Carrot cake revealed my baking dark side. Years ago in the era before I became obsessed with baking, my friend and I baked a carrot cake together. It went along fine until she tried to measure a tablespoon of baking powder instead of a teaspoon, and added the entire egg (shell and all!) into the mixing bowl.

It ended with me standing on a stool holding a wooden spoon, dictating the recipe to her like a military general. 

I’m not proud of these memories. But I can accept that very occasionally, under stressful situations, I can become a little “tense” in the kitchen. I like to think I’ve improved with age, but I think it’s more just that now when cooking with friends, I don’t lift a finger to help.

Banana Carrot Cake with Ricotta Honey Frosting

Lest the evil carrot cake dictator should emerge and take over and the wooden spoon make a second appearance.

Making this carrot cake was different from that first carrot cake for lots of reasons. For starters, I made it calmly and methodically with no shouting whatsoever! And the cake itself has had a makeover too.

Instead of a traditional sugar-filled dessert made with lots of eggs and butter, this cake is made entirely of natural and wholesome ingredients.

Banana Carrot Cake with Ricotta Honey Frosting

Sweetened with agave nectar and mashed bananas, it is dense and fruity. Just how I like my carrot cakes! It’s studded with lots of nuts and raisins and bursting with cinnamon and nutmeg. 

But the best part by far is the icing. I made a version of the yogurt icing I topped my gluten-free banana chai cupcakes with, substituting half the yogurt with ricotta. The result was a super creamy and light icing that tasted almost like creme fraiche.

Scented with honey and dusted with crunchy nuts, this ended up as the best layer cake I think I’ve made so far. And by far the healthiest!

Banana Carrot Cake with Ricotta Honey Frosting

The recipe is adapted from this yummy carrot loaf from 101 cookbooks. I’ve been using this recipe for so long I don’t even read the recipe anymore. Over the years I’ve adapted it to be vegan (unless you ice it, obviously) and to suit whatever is on hand.

Today I only had two carrots, so I increased the bananas by an extra half. I also stopped putting in the olive oil ever since I made Wholesome Carrot Muffins without it, and didn’t even notice the difference until I found the cup of oil the next day. 

This cake is great for special occasions and birthdays because it looks so festive and it lasts really well in the fridge.

Perfect for the Christmas season if you know what I’m saying! Start the icing the day before, but if you want to make a vegan version, maybe try a cashew cream or coconut topping.

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I’m working on a tofu icing to put on my next birthday cake, so keep updated!

Banana Carrot Cake with Ricotta Honey Frosting

Photos & Recipes by Lillian Crowther Gibson. Sugar&Cinnamon.

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