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!
I’ve covered pretty much all things carrot cake in the past.
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!!
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!
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.
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. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed today’s recipe. Thanks for stopping by!
Mini Carrot Cakes with Candied Pecans
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
- 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
- 8 oz 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
- To make the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
- In a small dish, mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
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