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Cafe Brenda Chocolate Carrot Cake

2 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 1/3 C. unbleached white flour
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 C. honey
2/3 C. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 C. buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 C. grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt chocolate in a double broiler and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add honey and beat until light. Add oil and beat again. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Add cooled chocolate and mix well. Stir in buttermilk. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in carrots.

Pour batter into two 9-inch buttered and floured cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Take out of pan and frost.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 C. butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C. Neufchatel cheese, softened
3/4 C. honey or maple syrup
3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. instant coffee
1 T. rum, crème de cacao, or Grand Mariner

Beat butter, add cream cheese, and beat until smooth and creamy. Add honey or syrup and beat again. Add cocoa, coffee, and liquor. Beat until well combined. Makes enough frosting to fill and frost one 9-inch double-layer cake.

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