This easy carrot cake recipe is amazing! A perfect harmony of spices with a soft moist and delicious texture and the crunch of pecans. Served with a delicious cream cheese frosting it is the best carrot cake I have ever tasted.
Easy carrot cake recipe
If you don't like carrot cake it's simply because you haven't tried the right recipe yet! And that was exactly my case before I made this that fits perfectly with the idea I had of this very original dessert.
This carrot cake is very popular in the world and especially in the United States as are all these very original recipes containing spices and vegetables like pumpkin pie, Pumpkin bread or as in this recipe with grated carrots.
Like my carrot cake cupcakes recipe, this cake has a moist texture and is perfectly balanced in sugar and spices. Served with a delicious creamy icing, the famous cream cheese frosting that is usually used to make New York cheesecake.
Why use carrot in this cake
Carrot cake does not taste like a carrot at all!
It's a bit like chocolate cake with zucchini or brownie with beets. Back in the day, carrots were used because they were more easily accessible than other ingredients. It is neutral but brings a slightly sweet taste and adds a melting texture which gives even more softness to the cake.
Carrot cake with Cream cheese frosting
Carrot cake is usually served with a creamy frosting called "cream cheese". This is the same cheese that is used to make cheesecake, and it goes perfectly with the cake's spices and nuts.
This frosting is also used a lot in the cinnamon rolls recipe as a topping. My recipe is quite simple and allows to have a stable cream a bit like butter cream. But you can always replace it with a lighter cream like mascarpone whipped cream.
Ingredient note to make a carrot cake
- Carrot : Use about 4 medium carrots to make this recipe, you can use more or less depending on your preference.
- Flour : All purpose flour, not cake flour with yeast. Measure quantities with a scale and not with measuring cups for more precision.
- Raising agent : A combination of baking soda and baking powder is used to ensure a good fluffiness.
- Spices : The most used are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, I voluntarily did not dose the spices much but you can increase the quantities a little if you want to have a spicier cake.
- Eggs : Use eggs at room temperature
- Vegetable oil: A neutral oil such as rapeseed oil, grape seed oil or walnut oil.
- Sugar : A combination of flavored brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Salt and vanilla extract : Balances the flavors and perfumes the cake.
- Pecans : Crushed to add crunch to the texture of the cake, you can mix with almonds and walnut kernels.
Like a layer carrot cake
Here I chose to make 2 cakes baked separately and then assemble them into a layer cake, but you can very well divide the recipe in 2 and make only one single cake.
How to make the easy carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting
Make the carrot cake batter
- Preheat the oven to 347°F / 175°C and line 2 8 inch / 20 cm round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Peel and finely grate the carrots and set aside.
- Mix together in a bowl the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown and granulated sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and shredded carrots.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula until the mixture is smooth and liquid.
- Finish by adding the crushed pecans.
- Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and puffed up and check with toothpick inserted into the center and it should come out clean.
- Allow cake to cool completely to room temperature.
Tip: Bake the cake in 2 batches using 2 pans of the same diameter.
Make the cream cheese frosting
- Place the chopped and softened butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Add cream cheese and continue beating on medium speed for another 2 minutes until thick and smooth.
- Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and mix again for 2 minutes.
- Keep your frosting in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Tip: use room temperature ingredients, especially for the butter, to ensure a smooth, homogenous texture.
Assembling the carrot cake
- Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate and cover with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting.
- Cover with a second layer of cake and cover the entire cake with the remaining icing.
- Decorate the tops of the cake with crushed pecans.
Tip: Let the cake rest in the refrigerator before serving.
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