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Cafe Brenda Chocolate Carrot Cake

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  • 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon rum, crème de cacao, or Grand Mariner


  1. Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double broiler and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add honey and beat until light. Add oil and beat again. Stir in vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add cooled chocolate and mix well. Stir in buttermilk. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in carrots.
  5. 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.
  6. Take out of pan and frost.
  7. Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: 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.