Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

Mini Carrot Cakes with Candied Pecans

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It's the only way to eat carrot cake!

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It’s the only way to eat carrot cake!

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It's the only way to eat carrot cake!

I love cute things! I love mini things!

You’ve probably noticed a trend here for mini layer cakes. Aren’t these just the cutest things ever?? And I can’t be the only one who thinks that mini desserts tastes better. You too? 👊🏻

I’ve covered pretty much all things carrot cake in the past.

Carrot cupcakes. ✔️
Carrot layer cake. ✔️
Carrot cheesecake. ✔️ (<- That carrot cheesecake though! Out-of-this-world creamy and delicious!)

And now mini carrot layer cakes with candied pecans!! Those little gems are what really makes this cake. Of course, super moist cake layers with sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting are great and all, but what really makes this cake stand out is those crunchy, sweet candied pecans!!

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It's the only way to eat carrot cake!

If you’ve never made candied pecans, it’s super easy. You can, of course, use pecan halves, but I had only chopped pecan, so that’s what I used here. I actually found it quite convenient though.

Couple important notes to address here:

  • When preparing the egg whites, make sure to whisk it until nice and frothy. This way the mixture is light and coats the nuts in thin layer.
  • When baking the pecans, make sure to check on them frequently and give them a good stir to ensure not to burn the nuts. You’ll know they’re ready, when the pecans are slightly browned, dried and crisp.

I’d also suggest to make a little (or a whole bunch) more, because you won’t be able to stop snacking on them!

Candied Pecan recipe with step by step photos

For the cake layer, I slightly adapted my Ultimate Carrot Cupcake recipe. The only change I made is that I reduced the oil amount by half, because in my testing, I learned that thin cake layer doesn’t need too much oil to stay moist, or it gets quite fragile to handle.

Mini carrot cakes - step by step photo instructions

I just freaking adore mini cakes. Did I already mention that?

These mini cakes were devoured by me and my husband in just 2 days! We didn’t even bring them out to the ranch! I’ll make it up for it on Easter, I guess. 🙂

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It's the only way to eat carrot cake!

Hope you enjoyed today’s recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

Mini Carrot Cakes with Candied Pecans

Adorable mini carrot cakes filled with classic cream cheese frosting and studded with crunchy candied pecans! It's the only way to eat carrot cake!

Yield: About 17-20 mini cakes

Ingredients:

For candied pecans:

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (130gr) chopped pecans

For cake:

  • 1 cup (125gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120gr) Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (100gr) sugar
  • ½ cup (100gr) brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 ½ cup grated carrots

For frosting:

  • 8oz (250gr) cream cheese*, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (55gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (240gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy (whipping) cream, or milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. To make the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  2. In a small dish, mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Whisk the egg white and vanilla extract until nice and frothy, good 3-4 minutes. (Make sure the mixture is frothy, as pictured above.) Add the chopped pecans and mix well. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts and toss the pecans with sugar mixture until the nuts are evenly coated. Transfer the coated pecans onto a prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  4. Bake the pecans, stirring and checking every 15 minutes, until the nuts are evenly browned and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, you can chopped the candied pecans into even smaller pieces.
  5. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 17x11in (43x28cm) deep baking sheet with a parchment paper and spray cooking spray all over the parchment paper and on the sides.
  6. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  7. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix together eggs, Greek yogurt, oil, sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Don’t overmix at this point. Fold in grated carrots.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and tap a few times to get rid of bubbles. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Make the frosting while the cake is cooling. Beat butter and cream cheese on medium high speed until fluffy for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for a minute. Then increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer into a piping bag with plain round tip, if desired. (Alternatively, you can simply use 2 teaspoons to frost the cakes.)
  10. Once the cake is cooled completely, carefully transfer the cake onto a flat surface. Cut out 2-inch circles using a round cookie, or biscuit cutter. You will get about 35-40 circles, depending how close you cut out the circles. Place the cutout cake layers on wire rack. Pipe about heaping tablespoon of frosting on half of the cake circles. Using an offset spatula lightly spread the frosting and sprinkle candies pecans. Then top with remaining plain cake layers. Frost the second layer the same way and finish with more candied pecans. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
  11. Mix the leftover cake scrapes and buttercream frosting in the mixing bowl with paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, and make some cake pops.

For step-by-step photos and additional notes, read the post above.

*Make sure to use brick cream cheese, not the one in the tub. I love and use Philadelphia cream cheese only.

Adapted from my Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes.

Made this recipe? Share your photo with #sweetandsavorybyshinee to be featured on the Reader's Gallery.

All photographs and content on Sweet & Savory by Shinee is copyright protected, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use any of my photos without my authorization. If you would like to share my recipe, you may re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the full directions. Thank you for your cooperation!

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35 comments

  1. These cakes are adorable and those candied pecans look super yummy 🙂

  2. These are so adorable! I also love mini things!
    And I totally know what you mean about being unable to stop snacking on candied pecans. I made some candied walnuts the other day and they’re all gone!

  3. You make such beautiful recipes.  Between this and the carrot cheesecake, I don’t know which one to make first.  You should come link these up at Welcome Home Wednesdays.  Party opens 7a CST Wed morning! Hope to see you there!

  4. These mini-cakes look so delicious, thank you for the recipe! 

    Came here from Amy,
    cheers,
    Merisi

  5. Oh YUM! I am seriously so hungry right now!!! Thanks for linking up to Link Party Palooza, I love visiting your site!!

  6. I absolutely love these! Cute and look delicious 🙂

  7. What gorgeous cakes- this would be so cute for a shower!

  8. Shinee, you certainly checked off all the bases with this beauty! i can not wait to give these a try!

  9. What an awesome idea! I love mini cakes, they are perfect! And your photos are simply beautiful 🙂

  10. These are beautiful! I absolutely love carrot cake…we had it for our wedding cake! These would be so perfect for Easter! 

  11. This seriously looks yummy, I just about jumped at my screen to eat it! Definitely a must pin 🙂 have a great day xo

  12. I love mini versions of foods, and these look delicious. Perfect for an Easter party or brunch. What a fun idea.

  13. These cakes are just too adorable!!! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  14. Hello fabulous! I’m stopping by to let you know that your adorable mini carrot cakes will be featured at our party that starts tonight at 7. Woo Hoo!!! Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight so we can party again! Lou Lou Girls

  15. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. One question though,  how deep the baking sheet is?

    Thanks

  16. Quick question. Can I make these a day before and if so, how should I store them to keep them fresh?

    • Hi, Sarah. Yes, you can definitely make these a day ahead. You can assemble the mini cakes and refrigerate them, covered. Then bring them to room temperature before serving.

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