Moist Carrot Cake Donuts are topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with brandy candied walnuts to make the perfect breakfast, brunch, or even dessert! Made quick and easy with a donut baking pan in less than 30 minutes.
Happy (almost) Easter!! Although I really cannot believe the holiday is already here this Sunday. Maybe I feel this way because it’s still cold with snow on the ground up here in New Hampshire. It definitely does not feel like Spring. How am I coping? Well, I booked the family a June 4-day camping trip to Vermont and I made these baked Carrot Cake Donuts with Brandy Candied Walnuts!Vacation planning, brandy, and sugar all in one day…I am happy again and don’t care anymore that snow is still in my back yard (and front yard and side yard).
By the way, I had a bunch of Easter related recipe ideas written down in my little notebook that I wanted to share on the blog (they were great ones too!). However, before I knew it, the holiday is upon us and there’s no time left to develop/test the recipes. Easter came up super fast for me this year, as in I blinked and it was already April 1. I mean seriously, where did March go? Did we skip that month? Well, you see how on top of everything I am because I barely got this recipe out before the weekend and on time.
On a side note, this week has been a little exciting for me because I found out I’m one of 16 finalists in the First Ever National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest!! I submitted my Thin Mints White Chocolate Biscotti recipe and people can vote on it once a day. Even if I don’t win, I am so honored to have been selected as a finalist and been given the opportunity to participate in this wonderful Girl Scout event.
Okay, back to the recipe…I love carrot cake and wanted to make some baked donuts for our Easter brunch, so I combined the two for this recipe. I named these “donuts” because they are baked and I usually use the name “doughnuts” to describe the yeast-raised variety. The brandy came into play when I decided to soak some raisins in it. Rum could be used here too, but I like brandy, so that’s what I used. So there were my raisins soaking and, while I was making the donut mixture, I start snacking on the now-plumped-up-with brandy raisins. Oh my, let me tell you, liquor soaked raisins are really good. Like, really, really good. Much better than the sad, dried up little ones that come right out of the container. Well, halfway through making the donut mixture, I realize I have to stop eating them because:
- I still needed them to put in the donuts
- I think I was catching a little buzz off of them.
It was an even worse situation when the brandy candied walnuts were finished drying because I ate all of them before putting them on top of the donuts. I don’t really know how that happened, other then the fact that I was buzzing from the liquored-up raisins. This might be a lesson for me to not use brandy in recipes since I can’t stop eating the food I make with it. Regardless, they were delicious and I immensely enjoyed eating them all so, without another guilty thought, I made another batch of walnuts and it’s as if it never happened.
Hope you like this recipe and have a wonderful Easter holiday with these Carrot Cake Donuts With Brandy Candied Walnuts for brunch!
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup brandy (or leave out entirely)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium carrots, grated
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk or half & half
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons reserved brandy (can substitute water)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, soak raisins in brandy for at least for an hour. Set aside. **If don't want to use liquor in the recipe, just skip this step and add the raisins to the flour mixture below**
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add brown sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and carrots; mix well. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Drain raisins, reserving brandy liquid. Fold raisins into the donut mixture.
Preheat oven to 350F/176C. Lightly grease a 12 cup donut pan and spoon mixture into each cup. Bake for 15 minutes. Let donuts cool for 1 minute in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool, then top with the cream cheese frosting and brandy candied walnuts.
Beat together cream cheese and butter until fully incorporated. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, stir together brown sugar and brandy (or water) over low heat until sugar has melted. Add cinnamon and walnuts, stir well, then spread out over parchment paper to dry (about 20 minutes).
- Frosted donuts should be eaten the same day as baked
- Unfrosted donuts can be keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days
- For non-liquor option: skip the step of soaking the raisins and substitute water for brandy in the glazed walnuts