May 9, 2016

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Carrot cake is my favorite type of cake. My mom always makes it for me when I come home for my birthday. I love that carrot cake isn’t overly sweet but it also doesn't taste like carrots.

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Carrot cake is my favorite type of cake. My mom always makes it for me when I come home for my birthday. Over the years it’s become our official family birthday cake.

I love that carrot cake isn’t overly sweet but it also doesn’t taste like carrots. The cake itself is a bit savory and helps to offset the sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting. I make this cake without nuts though walnuts can be added if desired.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake closeup

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Carrots – Adding shredded carrots to this classic cake recipe help to keep it moist. Grating the carrots is best done in a food processor or blender but can be done by hand as well. I prefer shredding my own carrots to buying pre-shredded, bagged versions at the store. I find them to be much finer which incorporates into the cake better.
  • Vegetable oil – The oil keeps this cake moist as it cooks. Using oil rather than butter in this cake is a classic method which also keeps it fresh for longer.

How to Make Carrot Cake

For the carrot cake:

  1. Heat oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt then set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together vegetable oil and sugar.
  3. Make batter. Slowly whisk dry mixture into the wet mixture, until completely combined. Next, whisk in one egg at a time.
  4. Add carrots and divide among pans. Once all other ingredients are combined gently stir in the grated carrots. Lightly oil three 6-inch round cake pans. Evenly divide the cake batter among the three pans.
  5. Bake the cake. Bake, until golden brown and you can stick a knife in the middle of the cake and remove it cleanly, about 40 minutes. Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add sugar. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly begin to add the confectioner’s sugar, little by little so that you don’t end up in a cloud of powdered sugar. Once it is all combined beat on medium for another minute then set aside.
  3. Frost and assemble cakes. Use a baker’s knife to evenly spread the icing over the top of one layer of cake. Add another one of the cakes to the top of the first and repeat until all have been stacked.
carrot cake

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • If you carrots are pre-shredded or seem watery wrap them in paper towels or a dish towel and give them a squeeze to remove any excess moisture.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool before you frost the cake, otherwise the icing will just melt off.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 9

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups grated carrots

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups confectioner’s sugar

Instructions:

For the carrot cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
  • In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt then set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together vegetable oil and sugar.
  • Slowly whisk dry mixture into the wet mixture, until completely combined. Next, whisk in one egg at a time.
  • Once all other ingredients are combined gently stir in the grated carrots. Grating is best done in a food processor or blender but can be done by hand as well. Lightly oil three 6-inch round cake pans. Evenly divide the cake batter among the three pans.
  • Bake, until golden brown and you can stick a knife in the middle of the cake and remove it cleanly, about 40 minutes. Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and slowly begin to add the confectioner’s sugar, little by little so that you don’t end up in a cloud of powdered sugar. Once it is all combined beat on medium for another minute then set aside.
  • Use a baker’s knife to evenly spread the icing over the top of one layer of cake. Add another one of the cakes to the top of the first and repeat until all have been stacked.

Notes:

*Note: For a 13 x 9” sheet cake, cook for 50 minutes.

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