This amazing moist and flavorful Carrot Cake is so easy to make, it will quickly become your favorite. Carrot Cake is packed with freshly grated carrots, nuts, and spices. The cake is also frosted with soft cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake also makes wonderful cupcakes like these Salted Caramel Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Another great version of this classic cake is this Caramel Apple Carrot Cake that combines great classic flavors.
Carrot cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes. It’s impossible not to love because the cake is so moist and flavorful. Freshly grated carrots is the main ingredient of the cake and it give the cake its soft, almost spongy texture. I also like to use a combination of brown sugar and white granulated sugar for a little extra moisture.
This is a great cake to make year-round. Carrots are always in season and widely available at grocery stores. And while I make it any time of the year, I do change the flavor pallet of the cake a little bit for different seasons.
Cinnamon and carrots give great flavor to this cake but in the fall, I like to add some more spices like allspice and nutmeg. The additional spices almost give the cake a feel of fall holidays.
For Easter, I sometimes add a cup of sweetened coconut flakes to the cake batter. I also use some coconut flakes to decorate the cake on top. Coconut adds somewhat of a warm, summery feel to the cake.
Try adding a little orange zest during spring and summer months too.
TIPS FOR MAKING CARROT CAKE
You start the cake by getting a little workout while grating the carrots. 3 cups of finely grated carrots gently packed in a cup is about 3/4 of a pound. Use a small grater side of the box grater to finely grate carrots.
Nuts can be an optional ingredient depending on personal taste. If you wish, add a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter and use some more nuts to decorate outside of the cake. I like to add some nuts to the frosting in the middle of the cake as well.
It’s always best to use a scale when dividing the batter among baking pans. Making sure that the batter is divided evenly among the baking pans will ensure that both layers are cooked the same.
This cake can easily be made ahead of time by cooking the cake layers the day before and frosting it the next day. Just cook the layers according to the recipe and let them cool to room temperature. Wrap each cooled cake pan with plastic wrap until ready to frost. You can store them in the fridge or leave them wrapped on the counter.
Frosting should be made right before frosting the cake. Cold frosting will be too hard to spread on the cake.
When cutting off the raised domes of the cake layers to make them even, make sure to SAVE the pieces that you cut off. Crumble those cut off pieces and use it to decorate the outside of the frosted cake.
HOW TO STORE CARROT CAKE
Frosted Carrot Cake should be stored in the refrigerator because the frosting is cream cheese based.
Cake carrier is great for storing the cake in the fridge. The main idea is to keep the cake air-tight to keep it from drying out.
If you don’t have a cake storing and carrying case, you can use an aluminum round pan with tall sides. Make sure the pan is a little wider than the cake. Cover the top of the pan either with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it air-tight.
SOME MORE CAKE RECIPES TO TRY:
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- 3 cups finely grated carrots (about 3/4 of a lb.) gently pack each cup
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) *optional
- 12 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans with some cooking spray. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour in each greased pan. Shake the pan gently to spread flour around evenly on the bottom and the sides. Turn the pans over and pat the excess flour out of the pan.
- Grate carrots on a fine grater and add it to the large mixing bowl.
- Add eggs, sugars, and oil. Whisk very well until completely combined.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Whisk together well.
- If using nuts, fold in the chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Split the batter between two cake pans evenly. If available, use a kitchen scale to make sure batter amount is even in each pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, check with a toothpick to make sure it's done. Be careful not to overcook or the cake will be dry.
- Let cakes cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edge of the cake layer to help separate it from the pan. Gently tap the corners of the cake pan to loosen the cake a bit. Turn the pan over to take the cake layers out of the pans.
- Cool cake layers completely on the wire rack before frosting.
- Combine softened butter and cream cheese in the bowl of the electric mixer. Beat for 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Starting on low speed and then gradually bringing it up to medium-high, beat for another 3-4 minutes.
- Use a long serrated knife to even the bottom or both layers of the cake by slicing off the dome. KEEP the dome that you sliced off and crumble it to use for decorating the cake.
- Frost the bottom cake layer on top and stack the second layer on top. Then frost the second layer and the sides.
- Use the cake crumbs to decorate the cake or you can use it to make cake pops.
This post has been UPDATED. Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on November 4th, 2011.
Chandra Persaud says
Can I use butter instead of oil and cream with the sugar? Also can pineapples be added? Thanks!
Melted butter would work but make sure all your other ingredients are not cold or it will solidify the butter. You could also use avocado, olive, or canola oil. And yes you can use crushed pineapple but make sure you squeeze out the liquid.
Traci Kenworth says