Carrot-Almond Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Oh, how I love a snack cake. It just feels so… friendly. It’s doable, casual, and unassuming—and thus you’ll find one in my house way more often than a layer cake (which suits my kids just fine). Don’t be fooled by their less-glamorous looks; snack cakes are every bit as good. They’re certainly easier to make, so I can whip one up with little effort—and more frequency—and make everyone in my house happy.So what exactly is a snack cake? Well, my own personal definition is that it’s a one-layer cake with frosting on top (as opposed to the strata of a layer cake). I like ’em tall and topped off with a hearty layer of frosting. I know many snack cake recipes forego the frosting, but that’s just wrong if you ask me. If I’m going to have cake, I want frosting, too.For the batter, I prefer a one-bowl method. Since snack cakes are more rustic, and a little rougher around the edges, whisking the batter together works great. You’re not aiming for a fine, delicate crumb that only a high-speed mixer can provide. In this carrot cake, almond flour is the predominant flour, which makes for a rich, dense, moist texture. A little all-purpose flour helps with structure, and you can use gluten-free all-purpose if you’d like. I tested side by side with traditional all-purpose, and neither I nor anyone else in my family could tell the difference. I use honey to sweeten this cake because I love how its floral complexity complements almonds. And because honey is more hygroscopic (absorbs more moisture from the air) than sugar, the cake keeps well and stays moist for a week or more.One side note where the frosting is concerned: I had some cream cheese that I bought at a discount grocer and wanted to see how it would perform here. The verdict? Yuck. It was ropey and strange (it must have contained more guar or xanthan gum), so I seriously warn you about straying from a tried-and-true brand. Your snack cake deserves better. And so do you.