We challenged ourselves to come up with a showstopping dessert that uses boxed cake mix as a starting point--and we succeeded. Fresh carrot and apple plus a splash of bourbon boost the flavor of the layers, while the browned-butter glaze is, well, the wildly delicious icing on the cake.

Sidney Fry, MS, RD
Recipe by Cooking Light November 2013

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Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
30 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Yield:
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 piece)
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°.

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  • To prepare cake, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute or until well combined. Add cake mix to buttermilk mixture; beat at medium speed 1 minute or until well blended. Stir in carrot and apple until just combined. Divide batter evenly among 3 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

  • To prepare glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed 2 minutes or until smooth.

  • To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread 1/4 cup glaze over cake layer. Top with second layer and spread with 1/4 cup glaze. Top with third layer. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar into remaining glaze. Spread remaining glaze over top of cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Nutrition Facts

294 calories; fat 12g; saturated fat 3.7g; mono fat 5g; poly fat 1.7g; protein 3.6g; carbohydrates 43.7g; fiber 0.6g; cholesterol 45mg; iron 0.8mg; sodium 259mg; calcium 86mg.