When spring rolls around, my mind immediately goes to all things carrot cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love a traditional carrot cake: layers of delicious moist cake with luscious cream cheese frosting, what’s not to like? But I’m always on the hunt for a fun twist on the classic, and these sticky toffee carrot cakes have quickly become a new go-to! They have all the familiar flavours of carrot cake that you know and love, combined with the sweet flavours of a gooey sticky toffee sauce. Not to mention these are super easy to make and can be made ahead for family dinners, perfect for Easter gatherings.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and line 6 ramekins with parchment paper rounds, place on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the dates, baking soda and boiling water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Use a blender to puree until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger, set side.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted butter and egg. Add the date puree, vanilla extract and grated carrots. Fold in the dry ingredients followed by the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut. Mix until no flour remains, making sure not to overmix.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins, smooth out the tops and bake for 35-45 minutes. You’ll know the cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes then run a knife or offset spatula around the perimeter to release the cakes.
To make the toffee sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and salt. Cook until the mixture beings to bubble, whisking constantly then lower the heat and let cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Serve sticky toffee carrot cakes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of toffee sauce!