Carrot Apricot Cake – carrot ginger cake layer with white chocolate pretzel filling, apricot compote, and white chocolate buttercream.
Reinventing Carrot Cake
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t always been a fan of carrot cake. Growing up, I would eat (or not eat, in reality) the very traditional version: spiced carrot cake layers with raisins and nuts, covered in cream cheese frosting. I would always take one bite and push my plate away. Nuts, no thank you. Raisins, no thank you. Not in my cakes!
It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I decided to try out a couple of new carrot cake recipes from some of my favorite bakers, including Sweetapolita and Milk Bar’s Cristina Tosi. I was originally drawn to the Sweetapolita recipe because Rosie doesn’t use nuts or raisins in her cake. She also includes candied ginger and orange zest, and used a white chocolate buttercream. All of which I love and knew would taste amazing together in a cake.
Rosie’s cake didn’t disappoint in the least. It quickly changed my opinion of carrot cake and became my go-to Easter cake.
Then, last year, I decided to try out Milk Bar’s Carrot Cake. I have loved so many of the Milk Bar cakes and was eager to see how Cristina reinvented this traditional cake. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. The cake itself was pretty much a typical spice cake, and the cheesecake filling was a little overwhelming. I did love the graham cracker frosting and graham crust though! Just all together, the cake wasn’t my favorite.
My Take on the Classic: Carrot Apricot Cake with White Chocolate Pretzel Crack Filling
As I was thinking about creating my own carrot cake recipe this year, I knew I wanted to do something with fruit. I racked my brain for something that I hadn’t seen used with carrot cake (i.e. no pineapples, no oranges, no strawberries) and something that would compliment the cake well. I landed on apricots and was so excited about it. But, if you caught my Instagram stories recently, you saw my excitement was squashed a bit when I realized I didn’t time my seasons right with this one! No fresh apricots in March. Duh! What was I thinking!
Well, that wasn’t going to stop me. I went with my backup plan and snagged some canned apricots to make my compote. It worked beautifully.
White Chocolate Pretzel Filling
The other element I wanted to add to this traditional cake was some kind of texture, and not in the form of nuts. While talking to my mom about some ideas, she suggested trying something with pretzels. I wasn’t sold on it right away, but the more I thought about the crunchy, salty pretzels in this cake, the more the idea grew on me. I just needed to add them the right way.
As I was thinking of how to create the right pretzel filling, I remembered Milk Bar has a recipe for Milk Crumbs, which is basically flour and milk powder baked in butter and covered in white chocolate. (Seriously heaven!). I played around with the recipe a little and subbed crushed pretzels for the flour and came up with the White Chocolate Pretzel “Crack” Filling. You guys! This stuff is no joke! If I were you, I’d make double the recipe called for because you’ll not only want to add more to each slice of cake as you serve it, you’ll want to snack on this stuff all day long.
I then decided to go with a white chocolate buttercream like Rosie did in her cake. It’s a little less traditional and pairs perfectly with the apricot compote and white chocolate pretzel filling.
Of course, if you love the traditional cream cheese frosting on your carrot cake, go right ahead and whip up THIS frosting recipe instead. It’s amazing
Have I sold you on it yet? I really hope so because I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter weekend.