Calling all tasty carrot cake with cream cheese frosting lovers out there! This amazingly moist cake is very rich in flavor. With every bite you get the taste of the carrots, cinnamon and nutmeg. The addition of the walnuts gives it that slight crunch and a hint of a nutty flavor. Other desserts that have a nutty flavor that you should check out are my ice box cookies and cinnamon pecan bars.
This cake is a family favorite and is made often in our household. It is not just on the traditional holiday or Easter!
Did you know carrot cake actually has its own Wikipedia page? Of course, anything does today, but this cake definitely deserves it! I love to learn about the history of things before blogging about them, but instead of boring you with facts about carrots cakes, I tell you my history with it.
I started a relationship with this cake when I was in high school. My ex boyfriend's mom was the head baker at a place called Mary's market in Rockford. IL. She had a recipe for this cake that was so unbelievably divine that for my graduation party she made an entire sheet cake for me to serve! That entire thing was gone in about an hour tops!
Ingredients and substitutions
Many variations of carrot cake have been made, but I am partial to mine!
- Vegetable oil: Gives this cake the moistness with every bite. However, other oils such as canola or sunflower oil can be used as well.
- Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are the perfect spices for this cake and enhance the flavor. Cloves or ginger can also be added to give the cake its extra spice!
- Carrots: I prefer to shred my own carrots because they are more moist this way making the cake more moist. However, store bought carrots will work in a pinch, but the cake will be slightly on the drier side.
- Walnuts: I prefer nuts in my carrot cake, but these are optional.
- Add ins: Additional add ins for carrot cake are raisins or even coconut flakes.
Tips for the perfect carrot cake
- Grate or use a food processor for the carrots to make them smaller so they are suspended in the batter more evenly.
- Don't use too many add-ins could ruin structure of the cake
- Don't frost cake when warm, otherwise it will be a runny mess.
How to make this cake
First, in a large mixing bowl combine oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until they are all smooth. Set bowl aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
Second, in a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients together (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg). Then, gradually add to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Third, fold in the shredded carrots and chopped walnuts into the batter. Transfer batter to prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to complete cooling.
Cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting is the perfect addition to a spiced carrot cake. What I love about it is that it is so easy to make.
First, beat together cream cheese, butter, salt and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Slowly add in your powdered sugar until your desired consistency.
You can make ahead and it is good at room temperature up to 8 hours or in a airtight container in fridge for 3 days.
It is a cake after all and the carrots are so small that they don't overpower the taste of the spices.
Cakes sink for a reason. They are either undercooked or over mixed. Other causes can be that the over was not preheated enough before putting the cake in or the oven door was opened too soon during baking time.
Moist cake recipes to enjoy!
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
- Electric mixer with beaters
- Home Decor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Grater (optional)
- 2- 8 inch cake pans
Carrot cake ingredients
- 1½ cup Vegetable Oil plus 2 tbsp
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 10z bag grated carrots
- 1 cup walnuts optional
Cream cheese frosting
- 2 bricks cream cheese
- ¾ cup 1.5 sticks butter, salted room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar more if it needs to thicken
Carrot cake batter
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 8 inch cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, until combined and smooth. Add in eggs one at a time along with vanilla and continue whisking until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg) and whisk together.
- Add in dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in grated carrots and nuts.
- Portion the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tested comes out clean in the center. Transfer cake pans to a wire cooling rack and let the cakes cool until they reach room temperature.
Cream Cheese frosting
- Combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and mix until it is completely combined. You can add more or less until you acheive your desired consistency.
- Once the cakes have cooled to room temperature remove from pans. I actually put them in the fridge for 10 minutes because they frost better. Remove from fridge and put first cake on decorating turntable. Put a large spoonful on top of cake and spread around the top of cake so that it goes over the edges. Add other cake and do the same. Complete by frosting all around the cake.
- Slice the cake up and serve it up! You can cover in an airtight container and it will stay good for up to 4 days.
- Once the cake is made and frosted, if you are not serving right away let it cool to room temperature for 2 hours before putting in the fridge.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Store in freezer for up to 1 month.
Fun fact of the day!
Each year, more people are killed by teddy bears than by grizzly bears!
I can't figure this out, unless Build a Bear blows up, how is this possible!
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