It has become a tradition of mine to make carrot cake for the library staff on Halloween. After all, it's got all those orange carrots in it, and we can have pumpkin stuff in November too as part of Thanksgiving.
I've tried and liked several of the carrot cake recipes at the Baking Bites website. There's a one bowl carrot cake I made for home, lightening it for SC by replacing the fat with applesauce. I like the spicing on it, with the orange and orange zest added too, but I think it needed more carrots. And I decided that my go to recipe from there, the low fat carrot cake I bake in a 9x13 pan needed jazzing up, so it got a little nutmeg and allspice added to the usual cinnamon.
In both cases I use bagged matchstick cut carrots and chop them up well in my mini food processor.
The frosting recipe came from the Skinnytaste website, long before she started doing her cookbooks. I have mixed feelings about her stuff--I often find that they sound a lot better than they taste, and that I have to tweak them for best results. But this simple cream cheese frosting is tasty, and making it with reduced fat cream cheese (often called neufchatel) is just fine.
I throw myself on the mercy of the foodies, and admit that I frosted the cake for work today with the canned stuff. This is mainly because the cake sits out for hours, and the true cream cheese frosting melts quickly, and the Halloween sprinkles I add for fun melt along with it. But for the home cake, I made the real thing. It took less than 5 minutes with a hand mixer.
And it tastes far, far, better!
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese (reduced fat is fine)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat the sugar and cream cheese together until creamy. Beat in the vanilla.