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Top Rated Carrot Cake Recipes
Enjoy the traditionally sweet and earthy flavors of a carrot cake in biscotti form, with a sweet glazed drizzled on top.This recipe is courtesy of Colleen Kennedy, Souffle Bombay.
This impressive carrot cake trifle recipe creates an amazing layered dessert loaded with pecan pieces and cream cheese. And although it’s not a recipe you can make with pantry staples, it’s worth the extra work.This recipe is courtesy of Ready Set Eat, Conagra
Pineapple, carrots and pineapple juice are blended with warming spices to turn carrot cake into a frozen dessert.This recipe is courtesy of McCormick.
Candied ginger, toasted walnuts and a decadent frosting make this carrot cake stand out from all others.Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Carolina Santos-Neves at American Bar in New York City
Carrots and cream cheese are a match made in sweet treat heaven. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar to the mix and you are sure to have a winner. This recipe is courtesy of Simply Healthyish Recipes.
This nostalgic twist on traditional carrot cake is just in time for Easter. Smother delicious spiced carrot cake with decadent creamy filling and top with classic sweet cream cheese frosting and pecans.Recipe courtesy of McCormick
This cake is quick and easy to make, versatile and utterly delicious. It wasn’t until recently that we realized just how much we love carrot cake. It wasn’t something either of us grew up eating. Thanks to this easy recipe, we fell in love.
You can make this quickly and easily without lots of fancy equipment. Not only is this the best tasting carrot cake we’ve made, but it’s a cinch to make.
If you are looking to make cupcakes, see our easy carrot cake cupcakes recipe! It’s inspired by this cake.
The ingredients needed for this cake are simple and I bet you have quite a few of them already in your kitchen!
I like using all-purpose flour, but you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat or white whole wheat flour. For a gluten-free carrot cake, swap the flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend.
Baking soda helps the cake to rise.
Salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract make the cake taste amazing.
Oil keeps the cake nice and moist — any neutral flavored oil will work. (Melted coconut oil works, too, but there will be a light coconut flavor in the baked cake.)
Sugar makes the cake moist, light, and delicious. I love a combination of white and brown sugar, but you can use one or the other. (Since posting the recipe, some of our readers have asked whether or not we can reduce the sugar called for in the recipe. You can, just keep in mind that the amount we specify will produce the moistest cake.
Eggs give the cake structure.
Lots of carrots make this the best carrot cake. I like to hand grate my carrots since I prefer the texture, but you can use your food processor or buy pre-grated carrots from the store. When we first tested the cake, we scaled the amount of carrots back to two cups since three cups just sounded a bit extreme. After baking and letting it cool, we were a little disappointed. So if you’re making the cake and start to second-guess the number of carrots called for in our recipe below, don’t. You need all three cups. It is a carrot cake, after all.
Pecans and raisins are up to you! I know that some people love nuts and raisins in carrot cake, while others cannot stand to add them. These are completely optional, so go with what you love.
Making the cake batter
The method for this carrot cake recipe could not be simpler! If you have a couple of bowls and can stir ingredients together then you can absolutely make this cake! As you can see from our recipe video, all you need to do is combine all the ingredients. Here’s how I like to do it:
Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another: I like to whisk my dry ingredients together in one bowl until they are well blended. Then I whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
Fold the dry and wet ingredients together: Then I switch to a rubber spatula or large spoon and fold the two — wet and dry ingredients — together until I don’t see any large streaks of flour. (We use the same method when making this cinnamon coffee cake, our easy pineapple upside down cake and this buttery blueberry cake. Both recipes are so good!)
Add carrots, nuts, and raisins: When I’ve got the batter ready, I fold in the carrots and if I’m using them, the nuts and raisins.
We add 3 cups of shredded carrots to this carrot cake!
Baking the cake
When it comes to baking the cake, divide the batter between two buttered and floured cake pans and bake until done. The cake layers bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes (they smell fantastic). After baking, let the layers cool then frost with your favorite frosting.
Frosting the cake
We love our extra creamy cream cheese frosting. It’s soft and creamy and doesn’t firm up like some cake frostings. (If this is what you are looking for, check the notes section of the recipe, we provide a recipe for traditional cream cheese frosting).
The frosting is actually the same one we used to top our Guinness Chocolate Cake. It’s made with only three ingredients:
If you’re not into frostings or if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, try the cake as-is without any frosting at all. Or, sift a little bit of powdered sugar on top. When Adam and I were testing this recipe, we skipped the frosting the first couple of times and fell in love with the cake completely plain.
What our readers are saying
If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you bake the best homemade carrot cake, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
“Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, very easy to follow, came out perfect first attempt great hit with the family, now a regular demand from my kids.” – A
“This carrot cake was amazing. I made it for my husband’s birthday and he said it would win a Paul Hollywood handshake (from The Great British Bake-off)” – Yuna
“This is an absolutely divine carrot cake recipe. It is so hard to find one that is not dry – this one is moist and works perfectly every single time and we make it often as it is definitely our favorite. ” – Jodi
Since posting this recipe, we’ve had some frequently asked questions. Here are the most common:
Frequently asked questions
Can I make carrot cake cupcakes using this recipe? Yes, absolutely (and if you read through the comments, many of our readers have done just that). To make cupcakes instead of a cake, we’d recommend baking for 14 to 18 minutes (or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean). Then let them cool for a few minutes in the cupcake pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. The recipe should make about 24 cupcakes. We have been asked this question so often, that we’ve added a carrot cake cupcakes recipe to the blog (click to see it now).
Can I make one large single layer cake? Yes, but the baking time will change. For a bundt cake, a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan should be fine. You will likely need to increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup. The batter will also fit into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, but you might need to leave out a bit of the batter so it does not overflow. (I’d also bake the cake on a sheet pan, just in case some batter comes over the sides.)
How do you store the carrot cake? Technically, because there is a cream cheese frosting on the cake, it should be kept in the fridge, but most bakers (even professional ones) are okay with leaving a frosted cake on the counter for a day or two (as long as your kitchen isn’t hot). If you prefer to refrigerate the cake, it will last for 5 to 6 days.
Can I use applesauce instead of oil in the carrot cake recipe? This is something we have never tried ourselves, so you may need to do some experimenting on your own. That said, you should be able to swap some of the oil for applesauce without too many issues.
Can I add pineapple to the carrot cake? Yes, absolutely. It will add even more moisture to the cake so use fresh pineapple or if you are using canned, drain it first before adding to the cake. We do not recommend adding more than 1 cup.
Recipe updated, originally posted April 2014. Since posting this in 2014, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Honestly, I don&rsquot even know where my Mom got this recipe.
I&rsquom not sure if her mom gave it to her or if she found it in a magazine back in the 60&rsquos and 70&rsquos.
All I know is, I&rsquove had my share of carrot cake in restaurants, from bakeries, and from others who have made it.
But, God bless them all, they just weren&rsquot my Momma&rsquos recipe!
CArrot Cake Ingredients
One of the things I love about this recipe is that there are no fancy schmancy ingredients.
My Mom was a simple girl who enjoyed simple things which is what I loved about her the most.
She was the most unassuming, down-to-earth, loving person you&rsquod ever meet.
So it&rsquos not a surprise that she&rsquod make this recipe and hold onto it through the years.
She probably had no idea that all 4 of us kids still talk about her &lsquofamous&rsquo carrot cake even to this day.
Isn&rsquot it funny how traditions start?
Now this cake recipe is and always will be Carmen&rsquos Carrot Cake recipe for our family.
My Brother&rsquos Birthday
Recently my brother celebrated his birthday by hosting the family at his house.
He asked me if I would make Mom&rsquos carrot cake recipe.
I happened to have it in my recipe binder on the original paper that she had typed it on years ago.
Needless to say, I was actually a little bit intimidated to make it.
I mean, this cake is legendary in our family now.
But my brother requested it, so I needed to make it.
Steps for Making a classic Carrot Cake Recipe
So I decided it&rsquos about time I share this recipe with our readers.
My Mom wouldn&rsquot have cared that I&rsquom sharing a generations old family recipe.
As a matter of fact, she&rsquod be really proud that I&rsquom sharing it in this way!
Step 1: Mix Eggs, Sugar & Oil
You can hand mix the eggs, sugar, and oil but it will save your arm strength if you use an electric mixer.
I have the KitchenAid 5 Quart Artisan Series Stand Mixer and absolutely love this thing!!
It makes my life so much easier and is so easy to clean.
You can find a range of KitchenAid stand mixers on Amazon with different colors and features.
Once the eggs, sugar, and oil are well blended, slowly add in the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
On my Mom&rsquos typed recipe it says that the flour needs to be sifted.
I don&rsquot think you have to sift flour anymore.
Although I fondly remember her metal sifter with the crank (like this one on Amazon).
Whenever she got it out of the cupboard it meant she was making something really good!
Step 2: Add Carrots & Nuts
By the way, some have asked, what are the best nuts for carrot cake?
We&rsquove always used walnuts whenever we make carrot cake.
Same goes for our chocolate chip cookies. Always walnuts.
Therefore, in my opinion, walnuts are the best type of nuts for carrot cake.
Back to step 2: Fold in the shredded carrots and nuts by mixing with a good strong, large spoon.
Of course, I have a few of my Mom&rsquos old trusty mixing spoons. Thanks Mom!
This is where you don&rsquot want to use the stand mixer because you don&rsquot want the carrots or nuts to get &lsquolost&rsquo in the cake batter.
Step 3: Pour Batter Into Greased Dish & Bake
I used a 9&Primex13&Prime baking dish because my Mom always made her carrot cake this way.
But you can also use 9&Prime round pans.
The recipe says it will fill three 9&Prime round pans.
Either way, spray your baking dish or cake pans with cooking spray.
Then, pour the cake batter into the baking dish or round cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 30 minutes if you&rsquore using round cake pans and about 40 to 50 minutes if you&rsquore using a baking dish.
For my oven, it took 50 minutes for the cake to be fully baked through.
Be sure to stick a toothpick in the center.
If the toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake is a nice golden color, it&rsquos ready to come out of the oven.
For some reason my cake cracked a little bit on the top, but it didn&rsquot matter because it was about to get hidden by some homemade cream cheese icing.
Step 4: How Do You Make Cream Cheese Icing From Scratch?
Just mix the cream cheese with the vanilla extract until it&rsquos blended well and creamy.
Then, add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time while the mixer is on until it&rsquos blended well with the cream cheese.
Once your cake is baked and cooled, add icing to the top of your cake.
Not gonna lie, I doubled the cream cheese icing recipe.
For some reason it didn&rsquot look like there would be enough for the cake.
However, I had more than enough and now there&rsquos a plastic container of leftover cream cheese icing in my refrigerator.
If you&rsquore family likes a lot of cream cheese icing, maybe 1 1/2 the recipe.
Carrot Cake Recipe Was A Success!
Although my son threw his heavy baseball bag over the back seat into the trunk of my car without realizing the cake was sitting back there, and it landed right on top of the cake (thank goodness it had a lid and a carrier), it survived the ride to my brother&rsquos house.
And as we sang happy birthday to my brother, all was well with the world again.
Now, my son, niece, and nephews will have fond memories of Carmen&rsquos Carrot Cake too and will pass the tradition on to their kids some day.
Here is her typewritten recipe:
Note that I tweaked my recipe below a little bit because I had a bag of powdered sugar vs. a box.
Instead of a full box of powdered sugar for the cream cheese icing, I measured out 2 cups.
Also, I didn&rsquot sift the flour.
Lastly, I bought the carrots already shredded (Thank you Wegmans), so I skipped the step of shredding the carrots.
However, that&rsquos another fond memory: Watching my mom, a whiz in the kitchen, use her stainless steel box grater (like this one from Amazon).
Ah, those were the good old days!
And, to be honest, shredding the carrots using the box grater using the smallest holes results in a better tasting cake.
Don&rsquot get me wrong, saving the step of grating the carrots was wonderful!
However, I do think using finer grated carrots results in a more traditional carrot cake experience!
You will need:
- Fat - Any oil will do. Coconut oil, vegetable or canola oil, ghee, melted butter all work best as they have less aroma. However, Olive oil does make a very interesting and unique version of this cake. This recipe uses coconut oil.
- Sugar - Brown sugar is my preference but, use white if you want or sugar replacement if you wish.
- Eggs - Large eggs. This is so that the recipe weight is correct and you don't end up messing it up by putting too little egg. Organic if possible but cake is very forgiving to egg origin. If you prefer not to use or can't find large eggs just use by the gram. Some shops even sell whole egg in cartons.
- Flour - Plain all-purpose flour or nut flours work well. Try other types like wholemeal or ancient grains
- Vanilla extract - I use it but it’s totally optional.
- Spices - Ground ginger, ground cinnamon, nutmeg. cardamom(optional), dried orange peel powder(optional)
- Baking soda and baking powder -Most good cake recipes use both.
- Salt -Always add to sweet baking a small pinch. Any salt will do. Just make sure it’s real salt.
- Vegetables and fruits -The nicest carrots you can afford. Carrot cake after all no. Orange(optional), fresh ginger(optional)
- Nuts -I used walnuts but, go for pecan or hazelnuts as the next best. Any nut will do.
- Dairy -Cream cheese and butter for the frosting although you could leave out the butter with no adverse effect.
- Sour cream if you are using my exact recipe. Otherwise, you could sub it with any fruit or vegetable puree like apple sauce or carrot puree. Also, go with yoghurt or really thick cream if you wish.
Sigrid&rsquos Carrot Cake
I&rsquom so sorry I&rsquove been away so long, my friends. I have 497 reasons I could give you, not the least of which is the fact that I&rsquom getting ready to launch a new version of my regular site, thepioneerwoman.com, and that has taken over my life&hellipand the fact that I&rsquove been cooking so much lately, I haven&rsquot even had time to edit photos and post recipes here&hellipoh, and then there&rsquos the matter of the four children I decided to bring forth from my loins. Sometimes they need attention. And clean clothes. And food.
But I&rsquom back now, and so pleased to share with you yet another winning recipe from the innards of my mother&rsquos recipe binders that she&mdashahem&mdash&ldquoaccidentally left at my house several weeks ago&rdquo and that I&mdashahem&mdashkeep &ldquoforgetting&rdquo to mail back to her. And I believe that next week, I shall also forget to mail them to her, and then the week after that as well. Because as long as I keep finding recipes like this one, I won&rsquot ever be able to part with the suckers. Sorry, Mom. But I want them.
Here&rsquos the recipe we&rsquoll be making today.
This is the original recipe card for Sigrid&rsquos carrot cake, written by hand by Sigrid herself many, many years ago.
Sigrid was one of my mom&rsquos dearest friends back in the old country. As such, every holiday or family event was occasion enough for Sigrid to bring one of her delicious, delectable carrot cakes to our house. And let me tell you, this practice went on for a period of approximately 25 years and I remember every single bite of every single carrot cake she gifted us. It&rsquos such a basic, wholesome recipe, each bite you take makes you feel like you&rsquore doing something good for yourself. Okay, so the thing is loaded with sugar. But it also contains 2 cups of vibrant, vitamin-rich carrots, so how bad can it be?
Karma&rsquos a real bummer, because now MY hips don&rsquot need it. But that didn&rsquot stop me from making&mdashand devouring&mdashthis carrot cake a couple of days ago. But only because I wanted to honor Sigrid.
Wanna make it with me? Let&rsquos go!
The Cast of Characters (cake only): Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Eggs, Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, and Grated Carrots. It&rsquos all very natural and wholesome and innocent. Just like me.
Start by blending 2 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, and 4 eggs in a mixer.
Now, if you follow Sigrid&rsquos instructions, you&rsquoll sift together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then you&rsquoll add the dry mixture into the bowl. But I didn&rsquot feel like sifting that day, and I don&rsquot like doing things I don&rsquot feel like doing. So I just added the dry ingredients straight into the mixing bowl.
Please don&rsquot be like me. And please don&rsquot tell Sigrid.
After you add the dry ingredients, blend mixture together until combined.
Now comes the good part. Add in 2 cups grated carrots. Mmm&hellipcan you believe this color exists in nature? I love orange.
Mix it together, just LOOK what the carrots did to the batter.
Now you can grab whatever pan you want to use. Sigrid always used a Bundt or tube pan, which made it special. But I just love sheet cake recipes, partly because they&rsquore just easy to slice and grab&hellipand partly because I have no fewer than nineteen sheet cake pans lying around my kitchen and I feel the need to justify my compulsion to buy new sheet cake pans despite the fact that I don&rsquot need any more sheet cake pans. I don&rsquot think I&rsquove ever confessed that problem until just this moment. I feel cleansed.
Oh, and you can also do cupcakes. Carrot cupcakes. How cute.
Sigrid says to grease and flour the pan, and to me that means: Grab the Baker&rsquos Joy. It&rsquos this baker&rsquos joy.
Pour it into the pan and smooth out the surface. And I realize this batter might look equal parts delicious and unappetizing. But just you wait, Henry Higgins.
Name that Broadway musical.
Now! Pop the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven for anywhere from 25 (sheet cake) to 50 (Bundt cake) minutes. Just give the pan a very gentle shake if you&rsquore unsure. If it jiggles, it ain&rsquot ready. And while the cake is baking, you have plenty of time to make the icing!
The Cast of Characters: Butter (softened), Cream Cheese (softened), Vanilla, Powdered Sugar, and Pecans.
Place 1 stick of (regular) butter and 1 8-ounce package cream cheese in a bowl.
Mix it together, and try not to pass out from the fat fumes.
Dump in 1 pound of powdered sugar, give or take. Mix that in. Then stick your finger in, pull it out, and lick it. Then say, &ldquoOh my Lord.&rdquo Then close your eyes and be at peace.
But we&rsquore not finished yet! We need to chop 1 cup of pecans. I like to get them pretty fine, as large chunks of pecans ruin my afternoon.
Dump them into the icing, and mix together&hellip
And then, if you&rsquore like me, add in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. If you&rsquore like Sigrid, you would have already added this in with the butter and cream cheese.
Anyway, this is what the icing looks like when you&rsquore finished. It&rsquos beyond delicious on its own, and you&rsquoll be hard pressed not to eat it by the spoonful.
Plop the icing on top of the baked (and COOLED) cake, and smooth it out.
This really is just enough icing to cover a large sheet cake, but if you&rsquod used a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish, there&rsquod be more than enough. If you wanted to do a layer cake, I&rsquod probably suggest doubling the icing recipe to ensure you&rsquoll have enough to cover the cake.
Best Carrot Cake
We understand that there's no short supply of carrot cake recipes in the universe, but ours is&mdashquite simply&mdashthe best. It comes from our Deputy Editor's great-grandma and there's just no arguing with that. It will be the shining star among all your Easter Desserts this year.
Why vegetable oil?
It's all about moisture, people! Cakes using vegetable are often noticeably more moist than cakes using butter. Why is this? Consider the whole ingredient: vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature, while butter solidifies.
Another case for veggie oil over butter? Tenderness. Butter has some percentage of water content (usually 15-20%). When that liquid is mixed with flour, gluten forms more rapidly. (We learned all about this when researching our sourdough recipe!) Vegetable oil, on the other hand, is 100% fat, meaning less gluten formation and ultimately, more tender cake.
It also makes prep easier&mdashno need to let butter soften or need to cream it with sugar. We love a good shortcut!
Can I make it without raisins? Or pecans?
You sure can! If you're not a fan of raisins, try dried cranberries or other dried fruit instead. If you'd like to try a larger dried fruit like apricots or figs, we'd suggest chopping them into raisin-sized pieces. You can also leave the dried fruit out all together.
We love the added crunch and flavor of pecans, but any nut would be great in this cake. Walnuts, cashews, or even pistachios would be delicious additions.
Can I add pineapple?
Classic old-fashioned carrots cake often include pineapple. While ours doesn't include any, this recipe works well with it. Add about 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple (drained if from a can!) when you add the carrots, raisins, and pecans.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Absolutely. After baking, let them cool completely, then wrap each layer individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate. They should last for up to a week! Layers can also be doubled wrapped and place in the freezer for a few months. You can frost from frozen and then let thaw for easy frosting!
You can also shred your carrots ahead of time to make the assembly of the cake super quick. They'll last in the fridge for a few days.
We don't typically recommend making the frosting too far in advance as it is easier to use right after making it. If you want to make it ahead of time we would recommend refrigerating it and then letting it come to room temperature before attempting to frost your cake. Stir it every so often to help speed this along or put it in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer to help soften it.
If you love this cake as much as we do, don't forget to leave a comment and rate it below!
Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on March 3, 2021 to include more information about the dish.
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (neutral flavor)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups finely grated carrots (about 4 to 6 peeled carrots)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
16 ounces (454 g) cream cheese , softened
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter , room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 Crave-Worthy Carrot Cake Recipes
There are a few key ingredients that make carrot cake so sweet and satisfying. First, let's talk about the number one essential component: shredded carrots. Their natural juiciness adds plenty of moisture to the batter, and their bright orange color is essential in giving carrot cake, cupcakes, and cookies their distinctive hue. The shreds blend seamlessly into the cake batter but also add a delicate texture to each bite. The other ingredients that put carrot cake in a delicious league of its own are a blend of spices. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are the typical trifecta, but some of our recipes also feature ground cardamom, allspice, and cloves.
If you're looking for an all-around classic carrot cake recipe, our Carrot Cake with White-Chocolate Frosting should fit the bill. We love the organic look of the ruffled frosting, which is so much easier to create than it may seem. If you're hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or Easter brunch, this is the dessert to serve.
We have plenty of riffs on classic carrot cake as well. Our thumbprint cookies are nutty and chewy, thanks to golden raisins, pecans, and rolled oats. Piped apricot jam and the signature cream cheese frosting are the icing on the, well, cookie. Or try the Carrot Cheesecake with Marzipan Carrots, pictured here. It's all the flavors of carrot cake but reinvented as a cheesecake. While the decorative carrots on top are made out of marzipan, the green tops are fresh carrot fronds.
Looking for something that's a bit more casual? Both of our carrot cupcake recipes&mdashHazelnut Carrot-Oat Cupcakes with Cream-Cheese Frosting and basic (but certainly not boring!) Carrot Cupcakes&mdashare great options to make for a crowd.
Celebrate the arrival of spring with these fabulous variations on spiced carrot cake.
Chocolate Carrot Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: The Gold Lining Girl
I am here for this chocolate carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! I am not always in the mood for chocolate on chocolate, but when I am, I AM.
My husband would want me to tell this funny story about how in college on my 21st birthday I forced him to get in his car while I was 21st birthday style drunk and he was stone cold sober and he drove all around town trying to find me a chocolate ice cream cone
Everything was closed and I was so upset that the Mcdonald’s ice cream machine was down (as always) I was crying…. CRYING!
We finally made the pit stop to Meijer and he bought me a carton. True love, right?
Well, this is carrot cake is too chocolatey, gooey, and decadent to pass up. If you have chocolate lovers at home this is absolutely the recipe for you!
How to make the BEST Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a large bowl, beat together oil, eggs, and sugars. Whip for 3 minutes.
- Grate the carrots. Add the carrot and rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. If you want to add raisins or pecans, fold them into the cake batter.
- Pour into greased cake pans (I use non-stick cooking spray). You can use three 8-inch cake pans or two 9-inch cake pans. I prefer to use 8-inch pans since it creates a taller cake.
- Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cook int he pans for 15 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack. Let the cake layers cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese frosting by whipping butter and softened cream cheese for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Spread cream cheese frosting over each layer. Cut into slices and serve.
MORE FAVORITE CAKE RECIPES FROM MODERN HONEY:
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How do I store carrot cake?
Storing an unfrosted carrot cake – While most unfrosted cakes can be kept at room temperature, carrot cake needs to be refrigerated. Since the ingredients include fresh carrots, the cake can develop mold if kept in a warm or humid climate. After your cake has completely cooled, wrap your individual cake layers in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How to freeze carrot cake – To freeze your unfrosted cake layers, wrap your individual cake layers in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, which prevents freezer burn. When you’re ready to decorate, remove your layers from the freezer and loosen the foil. Place in the refrigerator to thaw completely, at least 24 hours. Avoid letting your cake thaw at room temperature, as it can cause your cake to become mushy and fall apart.
Storing an iced carrot cake – If your carrot cake has been iced and decorated with cream cheese frosting, store it in the refrigerator. If left at room temperature, your cream cheese frosting will melt and fall off the cake. If your cake is uncut, it can be stored in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about a week. The icing acts as a protectant and will help keep your cake fresh and moist. If your cake has been cut, you can use plastic wrap or a cake caddy to protect your cake. You can also cover the exposed areas with extra cream cheese frosting to help seal in moisture.
How long will carrot cake last?
Unfrosted cake layers will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Frozen cake layers will keep in the freezer for about 2 to 3 months.
If your cake is iced and decorated (and uncut), it will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator. If it has been cut, it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for roughly 2 to 3 days.
Can I personalize this recipe?
Of course! The best way to figure out what you like is to have fun adding your favorite flavors, but here are a few of our suggestions:
- Try adding nuts, golden raisins or sweetened coconut
- Use a flavored cream cheese (like orange cream cheese) to add more flavor to your icing
- Try adding different fruits, like crushed pineapple, for added flavor and moisture
How do I fix runny cream cheese frosting?
If your frosting is runny, it could mean that your cream cheese has melted a bit. Try putting it back in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to reset. You can also add more confectioners’ sugar to bring it back to the right consistency. Keep in mind that adding more sugar will make your icing sweeter, so be sure to taste as you go!
How do I make smooth cream cheese frosting?
For smooth icing, make sure your cream cheese and your butter are at room temperature. Beat them until they’re creamy and smooth before adding the remainder of your ingredients.