In my humble opinion, this truly is theIts perfectly moist and delicious, made with lots of fresh carrots, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting.
I was planning to wait and post this recipe closer to Easter. But as you all know, I seem to have zero patience when it comes to sharing recipes Ive made that I really love. And carrot cake happens to fall in the category of recipes I really, really,reallylove. So without further ado, I present to you a very humbly-named classic:
Well, at least its the best in my opinion, as I am a total purist when it comes to carrot cakes. Thats right. Im one of those people who does not want to see any nuts, raisins, pineapple, applesauce, or (heaven forbid) carrot substitutes in mycarrotcake. Instead, give me a perfectly spiced, moist cake made with a heaping mount of freshly-grated carrots andlotsof homemade cream cheese frosting. And I will be averyhappy carrot-cake-eating camper.
(Ok, ok, though if you happen to adore nuts and/or raisins in your carrot cake, we can still be friends. Ive included an option in the recipe for how to add them in.)
Still, in my world, this recipe is Da Best. I even tested it twice this week just to double check with my friends, and they wholeheartedly agreed. (And for the record, this one is 500x better than a box mix!) So heres the how-to:
To begin, as I mentioned, one of my absolute non-negotiables for good carrot cake is an entire pound of freshly-grated carrots. They make all the difference in terms of flavor and helping to create a good moist cake. Although dont worry if youve never baked a homemade carrot cake before the carrots totally blend in to the cake once it is baked. No eh, whats up Doc? carrot crunching moments here. 🙂
If you have afood processor, this process can be madeso mucheasier by grating carrots using the (fine) grater attachment. But otherwise, you can get a good bicep workout and burn some calories by grating carrots with abox graterby hand. It will make eating them back up all the sweeter, right?
So grate about 1 pound of carrots
Then mix up your cake batter, and fold the carrots in at the last minute. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Then pour it intocake pansthat have been greased and floured. I chose to bake three 8-inch round cakes, but this recipe also works for 2 9-inch round cakes. (You will just need to adjust the cooking time.)
Then once they are done, pop them out of the oven and let them cool until they reach room temperature. Then I like to chill them in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to cool slightly, in order to make them easier to level and frost.
While they are cooling, whip up a batch of homemade cream cheese frosting. I made mine with low-fat cream cheese, but any kind will work.
Then pull your cakes out, and level them off to even thickness with a large knife orcake leveler. ( This one was just $7 on Amazon, and I think totally worth it if you bake lots of cakes!)
Pop them on a pedestal or serving plate, and then layer a nice thick glob of cream cheese frosting between each layer, and then frost the rest of your cake however youd like.
And then youll have one heck of a carrot cake ready to enjoy. Speaking of, I think Ill go have a leftover piece right now. 🙂
This classic carrot cake recipe is moist, perfectly-spiced and made with lots of fresh carrots and a cream cheese frosting.
(or you can use vegetable oil or canola oil)
1 pound finely-grated* fresh carrots
(optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)
3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)
Grease and flour three8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)
In the bowl of alarge stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.
I then like to pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool off slightly. Then remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.
Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.
Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.
If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.
*You can either grate fresh carrots by hand with abox grater, or grate them with afood processorby using the shredding disk.
Ingredients:baking powderbaking sodabrown sugarbuttercanola oilcarrotscinnamonclovescream cheeseeggsflourgranulated sugarnutmegpecanspowdered sugarvanilla extractvegetable oilwalnuts
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag itgimmesomeoven. Id love to see what you cook!
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This looks delicious and I want to make it for my boyfriends birthday this weekend. Do you think it would be ok if I left out the ground cloves? I looked at them in the store the other day and it was so expensive for even the tiny bottle when I just need a pinch this one time.
When Im out of cloves, I use allspice. Its cheaper and I typically always have it on hand 🙂
I left out the cloves and it was still delicious.
SPECTACULAR, my two-year-old and I just pulled it off and now we get share the excellence, no nuts needed. the only downside is I have dishes detail 🙂 four enthusiastic thumbs up for a delicious cake with no milk
This cake is incredible with or without icing! But, I highly recommend the cream cheese buttercream icing!
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I made this cake today to bring to my boyfriends grandmas house for dessert. I have never made a carrot cake before but for some reason it was stuck in my head to try it.
I followed the recipes exactly (using canola oil) and its turned out sooooo beautifully. I could not have asked for a more delicious/fluffy cake!
Also, i have never left a comment on a recipe before either, but i feel like this one was worth it 100%
For the icing I only used 1 cup cream cheese, 1 cup butter room temp, 1 tbsp vanilla. And about 4-5 cups powdered sugar. and it had more than enough icing that i just started decorating for fun lol.
Thank you sooooo much for this recipe! I will be making again for sure, probably again already this week
I want to make this a sheet cake. How long will I cook it for?
This is seriously the best carrot cake recipe! We make it for birthdays and I even used the recipe to make our wedding cake. Now even people in our families who dont like carrot cake beg us to make this recipe for them. I add a little cinnamon and allspicebut we like things a bit spicier in general. Perfect as is too 🙂 Thanks for the recipeits now our family classic.
Can you make this cake into cupcakes? I would love to make them for Easter I think my family would love this!🌸
What would be the best way to adjust baking time/temp to do as cupcakes?
Im making this cake for Sunday Easter. I wonder whats the equivalent of one kind of shredded carrots to cups?
Can this cake be made without a stand mixer ? I only have a hand mixer ! I would like to make this for tomorrow. Thank you
First time making carrot cake and the step by step instructions were fail proof! It turned out PERFECT! Lots of raves!!!
Do you think this recipe would work swapping the eggs for applesauce (egg allergy)?
Just pulled this out of the ovenit smells so yummy! Just a heads up that you can shred carrots in a Vitamix! I found a YouTube video that showed it. Cheers to one less kitchen appliance and being one step closer to carrot cake on a regular basis!
Perfect carrot cake. Even the frosting may be my go to cream cheese frosting now!
2tsp of salt??? Ive never seen that much in a cake did everyone use that much???
I used this recipe in a bundt pan, baked it 40-45 minutes and it turned out amazing! Omit the butter and flour when using a bundt pan and use baking spray or almond flour for a better release.
This was a hit! The title says it all, didnt change a thing! Im the king of Easter now!
My first attempt at carrot cake. I added raisins and walnuts because thats what everyone else wanted. It was amazing! My MIL kept saying it was just like her mothers and thats a high compliment. I had a couple extra ounces of carrots after peeling and shredding in there, the pans were very full. I used 2 9rounds, and had to bake it probably 45 mins, (I lost track of my 5 minute extensions). Next time Ill use three 9s, if I do that again.
I made this cake for Easter and it was a hit. The debate was with or without pineapple and raisins. Made it without either one. Only one person wanted without. Next time Im adding pineapple to it.
Every easy to make. Great taste. Ingredients on hand. I also add a 1/4teaspoon of ginger it complemented the recipe.
My family have not stopped talking about it since I made it yesterday for Easter, most not care if for carrot cake. Hands down the BEST cake I have ever made or maybe have had. Thank you so much!
Ps: I added about a teaspoon of pumpkin spice
Every time I make this cake my middles never cook as fast ? Im always having to leave it in more ! Any suggestions as to why that may be eventually it cooks but its my favorite cake to make around easter please help!!
After 15 years of making my husband a yellow cake with chocolate icing for his birthday, he switched things up on me this year and asked for the best carrot cake in the world. Huh? I was pretty sure I didnt even like carrot cake. I found this recipe after a quick Pinterest search and chose it because the comments were all positive and because it didnt include raisins/nuts/pineapple.
Holy cow. This cake is amazing. I made it for my husbands birthday March 20 and then again for Easter. Its SO GOOD. For the second cake, I used the cake scraps and the leftover icing to make cake pops, and they were devoured at work.
PS I made one change. I like the icing with a little tang, so I only used 4 cups of powdered sugar.
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We made it as a sheet cake, turned out amazing. We made 2 batches of everything and stacked it, with a layer of the frosting in between. We booked each layer for 15 min, then rotated and baked for 7 more. Was perfect for a huge party, great recipe.
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The brown sugar in your recipe is it dark brown sugar or light brown sugar?
Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing from you 😊
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Hi Ali. I made this cake the other day and it absolutely DELICIOUS. I found it a little bit dry on first day, but kept in the fridge and the next day it was just perfect.
Can I freeze this cake? If yes, how do I defrost? A day before serving? Sorry Im very new to baking.
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