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06Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

Crumb Carrot Cake

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.

13Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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 Measure your flour correctly!
  • 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:

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the white sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
  3. Add the cake flour and stir until combined.  This works best while the butter is still hot.
  4. Set the mixture aside to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Directions for Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 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.)
  3. Using a fine grater, shred the carrots.  Place the shredded carrots in between paper towels and gently press down to remove some moisture.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar together until it turns thick and creamy.
  6. Mix in the oil.
  7. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients have just moistened.  Do not over mix.
  8. Gently stir in the grated carrots.  (I do this by hand with a spatula to avoid over mixing.)
  9. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  10. 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.
  11. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  12. Let it cool completely.
  13. Drizzle the cream cheese frosting (see recipe below) on top just before serving.

Directions for Cream Cheese Drizzle:

  1. Mix the cream cheese and vanilla extract together.
  2. 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.     ;)

01Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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.

02Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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.

04Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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.     :)

07Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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.     ;)

05Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

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.

11Carrot Cake Crumb Cake

Any bets on whether the Easter bunny will set aside his carrots to splurge on this breakfast beauty?     ;)

Have a great Easter or Passover!



5 Hats

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.

The Perfect Crumb Cake 

05Crumb Cake_1024x768

Chocolate Crumb Cake

06=1Chocolate Crumb Cake

If you love crumbs, then enjpy them by themselves in these Mini Cinnamon Crumb Cups.

03Mini Cinnamon Crumb Cups




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01Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Blueberry Basil Smoothie

I finally bought a new blender!  After A LOT of debate, I splurged on a Vitamix Blender.  I can’t even begin to list all the brands and models that I studied and deliberated over.  In the end it was a battle between price and quality (as usual) and in this case the price was worth it.

I christened it with… what else… a coffee beverage, a double Cafe Frappe for me and my sister.  (We do love our coffee!)  Then I made this healthy smoothie for lunch.  I know what you might be thinking.  Blueberries and basil together?  I know!  But it works.

This tasty fruit and veggie smoothie is packed with loads of vitamins and nutrients.

04Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Blueberry Basil Smoothie Recipe
(1 Serving)


  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons whole ground flaxseed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup skim milk or soy milk (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend them until they are smooth and creamy.
  2. (Optional)  If the mixture doesn’t blend well, add the milk to help it out a little.  (Note, I did not use liquid in my smoothie.)


I have been wanting a Vitamix for years.  I’d pretty much watch it on QVC every time it comes on (and my husband can attest to that because he’s watched some of them with me).  I hesitated partially because because it’s super expensive for a blender and partially because I didn’t want to post recipes that are exclusive to Vitamix owners.  (Yet, I posted a doughnut recipe not knowing if people had a doughnut pan.  Go figure.     ;) )  You do not need a Vitamix blender to make this smoothie, but I would be lying if I said it doesn’t help.

There are a few simple tricks to help a regular blender make a smoothie.  You may need to run your blender for a longer period of time to properly beat everything up.  Ice breaks all the rules of blending.  As if by magic they survive almost unlimited amounts of time in a blender.  In other words, if you simply rely on the fact that they float you may have better luck skimming them off than fully blending them.  A little bit of liquid can help your blender process some of the more solid things you throw in it.  If you aren’t having luck with something, sometimes a splash of a liquid that goes well with the flavors you are blending can help a lot.

02Blueberry Basil Smoothie

There is no mistaking that this smoothie is 100% healthy.  It’s filling and I actually enjoyed this as a replacement for lunch.  The combination of flavors in this smoothie are unique and they just simply work.  It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try.

The basil is a subtle flavor and it’ a nice compliment to the blueberries.  (Seriously, I wasn’t sure that was going to work.)  The frozen banana helps to give the smoothie a thick consistency, but you really don’t taste it.  You know what else you don’t taste?  The spinach.  Honestly.  My youngest sister tried this and she said that she would never have guessed it was in there.  Since this contains basil and spinach does that make it a “green” smoothie even though it’s not green colored?  Ignoring the proper definition of a green smoothie, and a little bit of color blindness notwithstanding, blueberries are a superfood so I’m totally counting this one.

01Blueberry Basil Smoothie

We all know that fruits and veggies are packed with healthy stuff and the peanut butter is a great source of protein.  This smoothie also contains flaxseed meal which is a wonderful source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, and even more protein.  It has a bit of a nutty essence to it.  I found it in the “healthy” aisle of my grocery store.  (The aisle my husband always calls the “Earthy Crunchy Aisle”.)

03Blueberry Basil Smoothie

I want to thank all of you who gave me blender recommendations.  I was super excited that people responded to my cry for help.     ;)  You wouldn’t think that buying one would be so difficult.  I’m loving my new Vitamix so far!



3 Hats

Adapted from: My New Roots


Here are some other great healthy smoothies.

Blackberry Coconut Smoothie

01Blackberry Coconut Smoothie

Skinny Banana Blueberry Shake


Banana And Peanut Butter Smoothie


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06Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Last week I posted about these delicious Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies.  I made them for our neighborhood Easter potluck dinner.  While I knew they’d …

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Galaktoboureko (Greek Creamy Custard Pastry)

This post almost didn’t happen.  Galaktoboureko, or a creamy custard pastry, is my favorite Greek dessert of all time.  It’s my husband’s favorite …

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11 2 Turkey and Spinach Taquitos

Turkey And Spinach Taquitos

I love to try new food but sometimes I get into a rut and I end up eating the same thing over and over …

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

The rules for following a gluten-free diet are easy to understand, right?  Simply don’t eat anything with gluten (i.e. wheat, barley, and …

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Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies

Is it normal to always have two jars of peanut butter in the house at all times?  I feel like I’m running …