INCREDIBLY MOIST AND EASY CARROT CAKE
Preparation Time – 20 Minutes Cook Time – 45 Minutes Total Time – 1 hour 5 minutes
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176C). Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper.
Or grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.
Makes 1 (9-inch) double layer cake (16 thin slices) or 22 to 24 cupcakes// See Tips Below for other uses for batter
This is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve ever used. For the carrots, we prefer to hand grate for the finest carrot pieces that melt into the cake batter, but you can also use a food processor. It makes quick work of grating carrots, but the pieces will be slightly larger. Some grocery stores sell bags of grated carrots, as well.
This recipe is forgiving. You can make this with or without the nuts and raisins. We like using both granulated and brown sugar in this, but using one or the other is an option
**The creamy frosting recipe shared below is a soft frosting and is not ideal for frosting the entire cake. It is more the consistency of stabilized whipped cream, rather than traditional cream cheese frosting. For a more traditional cream cheese frosting, see the notes section.
For the Cake:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups (295 ml) canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)
- 1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins
For Creamy Frosting:
- 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups (140 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
- Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until they disappear, and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
- Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely. (If you find that a cake layer is stuck to the bottom of the pan, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.
- — Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, beat 16 ounces of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of softened butter together for a minute or two until smooth. Add 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes until extra creamy. If it is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of cream or milk.
FROSTING THE CAKE
- When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Decoratively swirl the top of the cake with remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Scatter nuts on top.
TIPS FOR ADDITIONAL USES FOR THIS DELICIOUS BATTER!!
- How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes: For cupcakes, 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 22 to 24 cupcakes.
- Using a Bundt pan: We have never done this in our kitchen, but a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan should be fine for this recipe. You will likely need to increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup.
- Using a 9-inch by 13-inch pan rectangular pan: Simply add all the batter to the rectangular pan and bake. The bake time should be similar.