By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Related Menus

Individual Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Praline Sauce

If you love restaurant desserts, with their multiple components, you needn’t think they’re beyond your grasp at home. With a few simple shortcuts and a few restaurant tricks you can create beautifully plated, delicious desserts at home. These Individual Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese and Praline Sauce are a case in point.

The homemade Cream Cheese Ice Cream couldn’t be easier to whip up in your Viking blender. Three ingredients are blended together and then are frozen in wax-coated cups. The last component, Praline Sauce, can be replaced by heating some prepared caramel sauce and pecans in a small saucepan.

  • 1 18.5-ounce carrot cake mix
  • 2 4-ounce jars strained carrots (baby food)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 individual 3-inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside. Or, when individual pans are not available, line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper, spray the paper and sides of the pan with baking spray and set aside.

Combine carrot cake mix and other ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer according to package directions, for about 3 minutes. Pour into prepared pans. Bake individual pans for 12-15 minutes or the half-sheet pan for 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks and cool completely. (If using the half-sheet pan, Invert onto a cutting board, remove the parchment paper and cut into 3-inch circles using a round cutter.) Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 12  9-ounce wax-lined paper cups
Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in the cream. Divide the mixture among the cups, filling to desired fullness. Tap the cups on the counter to remove air bubbles and place cups in muffin tins and freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight. Cut away the paper cups to serve.

Praline Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add pecans and sauté until butter and pecans began to brown. Stir in brown sugar and half and half. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside.

To serve, place one of the individual carrot cakes in the center of a dessert plate. Top with Cream Cheese Ice Cream, drizzle with Praline Sauce, and garnish with white chocolate carrots.*

Makes 12 servings.

*White chocolate carrots make a great garnish and they’re simple to prepare without any special equipment. Simply melt a bar of good quality white chocolate in the microwave, stirring at one-minute intervals. Place one-third of the chocolate in a small bowl and color with two drops of green food coloring. Color the remaining chocolate with two drops each of red and yellow food coloring. Place the white chocolate in plastic sandwich bags. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut a tiny bit of the corner off of the orange bag and squeeze squiggly carrot shapes onto the paper. Cut a tiny corner off of the green bag and squeeze onto the paper to form the leaves. Freeze until firm.