Carrot Cake Recipe
This Carrot Cake Recipe with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic favorite that deserves a spot on any dessert menu.
Cake is great! Whoever thought about putting a root vegetable in it? That’s craaaaaaaazyyyyy. Crazy Good is what it is. But seriously, who thought, “Hey, let’s shred up some carrots and bake it up in a cake and see what happens?” It had to have been a genius. Although it does make a bit of sense, seeing as how carrots naturally contain a large amount of sugar.
You know what else makes sense? Voice to text thingamajigs. Brilliant! Whoever invented that had to be related to the carrot cake inventor. Had to. It’s a mighty handy dandy tool, except when you have a southern accent. Sometimes it struggles a bit. My daughter and I were headed home tonight from the grocery store when I realized I had not yet written anything for this recipe. So I asked her turn on the voice to text while I drove so I could dictate about the Carrot Cake on the way home:
“Cake is great virtual and it is what it is no cake is great virtual and it just what is it is no tattoo we didn’t get a good remedies do you have a catwell it’s it’s not open anything from Walgreens nope I told dad”
Yep. The voice dictation didn’t turn out as well as this carrot cake, but when it does work, it’s pretty durn cool.
A few Carrot Cake recipe notes:
- Be careful not to over beat the batter. Mix until just combined.
- Raisins shmaisins. I could take them or leave them when it comes to this cake. They are optional with this recipe, but if you choose to use them, I recommend giving them a rough chop. Raisins get kind of weird when baked, and in this cake they can puff up and…well, just be weird. I don’t like it. So if you chop them up, they can’t poof up. Plus smaller bits spread throughout are just nicer.
- This recipe calls for baking in a 9×13-inch baking pan. The cake can be carefully turned out, then frosted, or frost directly in the pan and be done with it. For the photos in this post, I cut the 9×13-inch cake in half to create a rectangle layer cake. It worked great. With that said, if you’d like to bake a round layer cake, the batter should be divided evenly into three 9-inch round cake pans, and baking times adjusted until cake is done (I’d say about 35-40 minutes, but always check for doneness before removing from the oven).
- The frosting (oh the frosting!) amount in this recipe is just enough to cover a 9×13-inch cut in half and then layered cake (as shown). Adjust amount needed accordingly.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrots
- optional: ½ cup raisins (golden or dark), rough chopped
- Position oven rack in middle. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch* baking pan, tap out excess.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in carrots and (if using)raisins.
- Add dry mixture into wet mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Evenly spread batter in prepared baking pan.
- Bake at 350-degrees F for until cake tester (or wooden toothpick) inserted in center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Allow cake to cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely.
- 4 ounces, weight (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract (vanilla bean paste is wonderful for this recipe)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces cream cheese, diced up
- optional: 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
- Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt for about 30 seconds until combined a bit, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, about 2-3 minutes, scrape down sides as needed.
- Add in cream cheese a little bit at a time, mixing until smooth, scraping down sides as needed, about 4 minutes.
- Frost cake and if desired, top with toasted nuts.