Hello dear friends, I’ve missed sharing food with all of you! The cross-state move took a lot more adjustment than I expected but I plan to be back in the kitchen where I belong very soon. To celebrate, please share with me this amazing carrot cake! Somebody’s celebration of some sort is coming up, right? Birthday, baby shower, wedding, Thursday? (Yes Thursday is a holiday to me, because I love holidays and I want one every week!) Carrots are generally a spring vegetable at the farmers markets but are available year-round at the grocery stores and usually inexpensive, so there is never a bad time to make this.
You will never think of carrot cake the same way after trying this. It is incredible. It’s from scratch, with actual carrots! There is NO boxed cake mix here. The hardest part about this cake is not eating the entire thing for dinner just because you CAN. A food processor for shredding the carrots and a stand mixer for mixing the batter are very helpful time-savers but not necessary so don’t let that stop you.
Thanks go to the folks at King Arthur Flour for this recipe. Incidentally they are my preferred brand of flour – they don’t give me anything to say so, but if you are a baker, it’s good stuff. If you manage to have any leftovers, store them covered in plastic wrap in the fridge. Carrot cake is great cold for breakfast with a glass of milk. Go ahead, you deserve it!
- 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) vegetable oil or avocado oil
- 2 cups (14 oz) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups (8 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (11 1/2 oz) finely grated carrots
- 1 1/2 cups (5 3/4 oz) chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup raisins
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room-temperature
- One 8-oz package of cream cheese (not low-fat or flavored)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups (10-14 oz) powdered sugar
- milk to adjust consistency of frosting, if necessary
- Gather and prepare the ingredients, including grating the carrots and chopping the walnuts.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9" round layer pans, or one 9" x 13" pan. Alternately, you could cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan(s).
- Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and spices. Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir in. Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. Pour into the prepared pan(s).
- Bake the cake(s) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. If you're using round layer pans, remove the layers from the pans after about 15 minutes, and place them on a rack to cool. Allow the cake(s) to cool completely before frosting. (If the cakes are still warm, the frosting will melt right off!)
- Make the frosting while you wait for the cakes to cool. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla. Beat in the sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk if the frosting is too stiff to spread; add additional sugar if it's too thin.
- Frost the sheet cake right in the pan. For the layers, frost the top of one layer, top with the second layer - turn the second layer upside-down so the nice flat side is up, not the rounded top - them frost the top and sides of the cake. This makes just enough frosting to do the whole cake so no eating spoonfuls of it, or you'll run out!