As many of you may know, I’m half Greek and half Italian, and I was baptized Greek Orthodox. Sometimes the Eastern Orthodox Easter falls on a different day than what my family calls the “American Easter.” Do you know how confusing that was for me as a kid? “Mom, why does the Easter bunny come at a different time for me?” I actually don’t remember how she used to answer that.
My husband isn’t Greek so it’s great when the Easters (yes, it’s weird to make that plural for me too) fall on different days because we can just visit both sets of parents with no conflicts. This year both Easters fall on the same day and it happened to be my parent’s turn. My mom makes a traditional Greek feast including lamb, potatoes, pastitsio, Greek Easter cookies, and Easter bread. It’s everything a Greek who loves to eat can ask for, all in one place and surrounded by family. Basically it’s a high fat and calorie fest. 🙂
Since my mom likes to do everything herself and I like to bring something anyway, I figured that I’d bring breakfast to avoid conflicting with dinner. My family adores baked goodies at breakfast time so what better way to start Easter day than with a carrot cake that’s covered with crumbs and a cream cheese drizzle.
Crumb Carrot Cake Recipe
(Makes 12 servings)
Ingredients for Crumb Topping:
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (equivalent to 1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 and 3/4 cups cake flour
Ingredients for Cake:
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 pound carrots
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Drizzle:
- 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese (also known as Neufchatel cheese)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
Directions for Crumb Topping:
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the white sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
- Add the cake flour and stir until combined. This works best while the butter is still hot.
- Set the mixture aside to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
Directions for Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and set it aside. (If you want to present it in a platter instead of the baking pan, then lay down parchment paper with extra hanging over the sides of the pan to pull out the cake once it’s done cooking.)
- Using a fine grater, shred the carrots. Place the shredded carrots in between paper towels and gently press down to remove some moisture.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar together until it turns thick and creamy.
- Mix in the oil.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients have just moistened. Do not over mix.
- Gently stir in the grated carrots. (I do this by hand with a spatula to avoid over mixing.)
- Pour the batter into the greased pan.
- Using your fingers, break the crumb topping into chunks and try to form small balls with it that are about 1/2 inch in size (like plump blueberries) and drop them over the cake batter (do not mix them into the batter). The crumbs do not have to be uniform in size and will likely not completely cover the cake.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
- Let it cool completely.
- Drizzle the cream cheese frosting (see recipe below) on top just before serving.
Directions for Cream Cheese Drizzle:
- Mix the cream cheese and vanilla extract together.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and milk until it’s smooth.
Crumb cakes are very easy to make. The only catch is that it takes a bit of time to roll the crumbs, but it’s crumbs, people… it’s worth the time. 😉
Baking Tip: Use a fine grater for the carrots because the smaller pieces will distribute more evenly throughout the cake. Plus, the finer texture is more pleasing in a cake. (I’ll save the real carrot eating for the Easter bunny.) Gently press the shredded carrots in between two layers of paper towel to remove some of the moisture. This will help you avoid a soggy cake but you don’t need to over do it. Your goal here is not orange sawdust.
I think people sometimes connect carrot cake with carrot eating bunnies and thus also with Easter. Being completely honest here, it was the connection I made when I decided to post this recipe for Easter. However, this recipe is amazing in the Autumn, on a Saturday, for a birthday cake, or simply because you have a hankering.
Many carrot cakes are notoriously dense, but this cake is light and moist. There is nothing wrong with that and in fact I make an awesome two tiered carrot cake that’s dense and delightful. (Perhaps I’ll share that with you next year). I wanted this cake to be lighter since it’s intended for breakfast.
The spices in this cake are AMAZING! When you pair them with carrots, you have suddenly taken those notorious autumnal spices and turned them into an enchanted Spring time treat. 🙂
I’m kind of obsessed with crumb cakes. In general, I always say the more crumbs on a cake the better. However, with this cake I wanted the crumbs to be an accent, knowing that I’d be topping them with some sweet icing. The cinnamon sugary goodness from those soft crumbs add a lovely bit of sugary texture to an otherwise soft cake. I couldn’t help but pick some of them off my piece while I was eating it. 😉
Of course, no carrot cake is complete without cream cheese frosting. Oh yes, I went there, even for breakfast. (Bagels are for breakfast and have cream cheese, so this totally works, right?) I drizzled the cream cheese frosting on top of those luscious crumbs (plus a little extra on my piece… hello, it’s cream cheese frosting).
I keep calling it a “frosting” but it’s a tad thinner than the frosting that you’d use to frost a cake. That’s the only way you’ll be able to get those fun stripes of sweetness on top.
Any bets on whether the Easter bunny will set aside his carrots to splurge on this breakfast beauty? 😉
Have a great Easter or Passover!
Carrot Cake recipe source: The America’s Test Kitchen: Family Baking Book
Crumb Cake recipe source: What Megan’s Making
Carrot Cake Crumb Cake source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Here are a some other awesome crumb cake recipes.
If you love crumbs, then enjpy them by themselves in these Mini Cinnamon Crumb Cups.
Carrot cake is one of my most favorite cakes. It was my wedding cake after all! 🙂 Having carrot cake for breakfast sounds like an excellent idea to me. Love the cream cheese drizzle. I bet this would pair so well with a big mug of coffee!
Awh, carrot cake MUST be near and dear to your heart if you had it as your wedding cake. 🙂 Oh yes, coffee is a must with all my breakfasts. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!
I never knew there were 2 different “easters”. Sounds like you get double the holidays : )
This carrot cake sounds SO good! Can’t get enough of that cream cheese frosting.
Thanks so much Natalie! Have a lovely weekend. 🙂
Tina, this cake is mind-blowing GORGEOUS! Seriously, I’m about to take a bite outta my screen. I love how soft and moist it looks and that criss-cross of frosting is just gorgeous!
Hehe…that’s awesome! Thanks. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend Sarah!!
I love carrot cake in general but then you went and added a crumb topping – please ship me a slice asap! : ) This looks fantastic and a perfect way to start the day! Happy Easter!
I’ll send you 2 pieces…trust me, one is not enough. 😉 Have a lovely weekend!
How funny. I didn’t know there were two easters 😉
This cake looks amazing. Definitely something you’d want to eat for easter breakfast
Thanks so much! Happy Monday. 🙂
This cake looks phenomenal, and the Greek feast your mom always made sounds so good! I haven’t had pastitsio in a million years…it’s one of my favorites.
Thanks Marcie! Pastitsio is one of my favorite too. 🙂
Love carrot cake, so this looks wonderful to me! Cream cheese drizzle is such a good idea…thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Jodee! 🙂
Tina, this looks so good.
My family is follows the Greek Orthodox traditions so I know about the 2 Easters. It’s so funny. My mom still calls it “our Easter”.
“Our Easter”…love that because I can totally relate! I hope you had a lovely Easter. 🙂
Carrot cake, crumb topping, and cream cheese glaze? Some of my favorite cake aspects all rolled into one. 🙂 This is the perfect breakfast to savor on a weekend morning with a big mug of coffee. Growing up, I had the pleasure of diving into pastitsio and other yummy Greek dishes as my friend’s family is Greek Orthodox (and celebrates on the “other” Easter”). Delicious!
Very cool! 🙂
I wonder how your mom answered these questions about having Easter at a different time…? I bet she fed you lots of this delicious carrot cake and you were a happy camper. Great looking little cake! Pinned!
My mom couldn’t remember how she answered the “2 bunny” question, although I’m pretty sure that whatever she said was convincing to a kid at the time. 🙂 Thanks so much pinning!
This looks incredible Tina! I am such a sucker for carrot cake but adding a crumb topping to this totally takes it to another level! Your mom’s Greek feast sounds amazing – hope you have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter 🙂
Thanks so much Kelly! I hope you had a lovely weekend. 🙂
I am slightly annoyed that both easters fall on the same day this year, because that means the.boy and i have to choose who to go to, but we are celebrating with his family – the Greeks! So there will be a ton of all that good stuff you mentioned.
Carrot cake is my favorite thing to make for Easter, but I’m thinking this crumb cake would give my usual cake a run for its money!
It’s tough splitting the holidays. The Easters are on different days next year…I already checked. 😉
I love crumb cakes – they go amazing with coffee, so I’d love to have some of this right now! Have a Happy Easter and a blessed day Tina!
Oh yes, coffee is a must with crumb cakes, in our home. 🙂 Sending you a virtual piece to start your week off. 😉 I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend!
this is crazy because yesterday I was talking to my bf about what kind of birthday cake he wants and he told me he couldn’t decide between crumb cake and carrot cake. I secretly figured I’d combine them and then here you are with this deliciousness!!! It’s like you read my mind 🙂
That’s crazy…what are the odds?! I hope you post about your version (or include it in your breakfast ecookbook) because I’m sure it’s also delicious. 🙂
Tina this crumb cake looks so great! I love carrot cake, and love the idea of having it for breakfast!! I studied abroad in Athens, and we were all so confused when Easter preparations started, but it wasn’t “Eater” for our families back in America!
Thanks Cate! 🙂 That’s so cool that you studied in Athens!
This carrot crumb cake looks right up my street- love the flavours! Delicious recipe!
Thank you! 🙂
What a great idea to combine carrot cake and crumb cake into one!! And yes… that whole Easter Bunny on different dates must be super confusing for a kid!
Thanks! Everyone in my family LOVED this cake. In fact, there was much debate as to who got seconds. Note to self, make 2 cakes next time. 😉
Oh wow, this would have been a lvoely Easter breakfast! It looks super moist and yummy, and that icing is calling my name! : )
Thanks Consuelo! 🙂
Tina, I love reading about these fun Greek traditions… especially about the Easters! I’m in love with this cake… also noticed you shared this with us at the party! Very decadent, and pinned!
Thanks Gloria! I’m in love with this crumb cake and I knew that I had to share at your Show Stopper Saturday link party. 🙂
Love this! Carrot cake and crumb cake are both awesome, but together, my mind is blown!
I ate the last piece last night…so sad. 🙁
Your Easter feast sounds fantastic, and this beautiful cake must have been a perfect start to the day! I love that you chose carrot cake for the Easter (bunny) theme. So cute!
Thanks Andi! 🙂