The Carrot Cake You'll Make Again And Again

Carrot cake is such a versatile dessert. It's suitable for just about every occasion, including birthdays, date night, and afternoon tea time. This easy carrot cake recipe is something you'll be able to whip up pretty quickly, and it's bound to satisfy all the carrot cake lovers in your life.

Kristen Carli, dietitian, wellness coach, and founder of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness guarantees this cake will be a hit. "This carrot cake is my husband's favorite dessert. He loves carrot cake. I gave some leftovers to his sister and his mom and got texts from both of them saying how good it was," she says.

This cake is particularly easy to make — you don't need special cake pans or perfectly cut circles of parchment paper. Everything can go down in a traditional 9x13 baking dish that you probably already have in your kitchen. Continue reading for how to make this mouthwatering carrot cake. We're willing to bet you'll want to prepare it again and again.

Gather the ingredients for your carrot cake

Round up all your ingredients on the counter so you know you have everything you need. This carrot cake recipe calls for two sets of ingredients. For the cake, you'll need 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, 8 ounces of shredded carrots, 4 eggs, and ¾ cup canola oil.

For the cream cheese frosting, you'll need one stick of unsalted butter, 8 ounces of cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. If you plan on making the frosting while the cake bakes, letting the butter and cream cheese soften a bit before you combine them will make your life easier. Don't be afraid to rest them on the counter while you prep the other ingredients and start making the cake batter.

Combine the dry ingredients for the cake in a bowl

After prepping all your ingredients, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. As far as why Carli uses a baking dish versus traditional cake pans, she says, "I love that this cake requires one large dish instead of two cake pans requiring building cake layers. I like baking this in ceramic, but you could also use metal or glass."

Then, you'll combine the dry components of the cake portion of the carrot cake. Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined.

Mix the carrots, eggs, and oil for the carrot cake

As you might have guessed, you'll then move on to the "wet" ingredients of the carrot cake. In this case, we're referring to the eggs, shredded carrots, and canola oil. Combine these ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can also use a traditional hand mixer if you don't have the standing kind.

While a lot of recipes instruct you to get the eggs to room temperature before incorporating them into the dough or batter, Carli ensures that the eggs don't need to be for this recipe.

Incorporate your dry ingredients into the carrot, egg, and oil mixture

Your'e almost done with the cake batter! (We know, so easy, right?) The next step in this carrot cake recipe is incorporating your mixed dry ingredients with the eggs, carrots, and oil concoction. With the standing mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until everything's combined.

Definitely follow the recipe here and try to do this step gradually. If you dump the flour mixture into the carrot mixture all at once, you could be looking at a clumped batter situation that there's no coming back from. Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

Bake the carrot cake

You've reached the sit-back-and-relax phase of this carrot cake recipe. Once all of the cake ingredients have been fully combined, your batter is ready to go. Pour the carrot cake batter into the prepared baking dish, scraping the bowl with a spatula to make sure you get your money's worth with this cake, and carefully slide it on into the oven.

Bake the cake for 40 minutes. When you remove the carrot cake from the oven, set it aside to cool on a baking rack in preparation for a thick layer of some delicious cream cheese frosting.

Make the cream cheese frosting

For the cream cheese frosting, you'll need your mixer again. So, while the cake bakes, go ahead and clean everything so there are no more cake batter remnants. To make the frosting, add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl if you're using your hand mixer). Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Then, add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar slowly. Mix until combined.

As previously mentioned in regards to incorporating dry ingredients into the carrot cake batter, in this step, we'd recommend gradually adding the powdered sugar so it mixes easier and doesn't end up full of clumps.

Allow your carrot cake to completely cool before frosting

The final step in this carrot cake recipe is allowing the cake to fully cool, then applying the icing. We'll reiterate: The cake should be thoroughly cooled before you even think about slathering on the cream cheese frosting (which you can prepare while the cake bakes or as it cools), or that frosting will melt right on off when it hits the cake. When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over the cake.

Cut, serve, and make everyone love you because you baked them a decadent homemade carrot cake. According to Carli, you can keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five days max.

The Carrot Cake You'll Make Again And Again
4.9 from 15 ratings
Complete with the most decadent cream cheese frosting, this cake recipe is bound to satisfy all the carrot cake lovers in your life.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
12
servings
slice of carrot cake
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces shredded carrots
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 8 ounces of shredded carrots, 4 eggs, and ¾ cup canola oil. Mix until combined.
  4. With the stand mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until all have been combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool.
  6. In the meantime, make the cream cheese frosting by adding 1 stick of unsalted butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream until smooth. Then, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 4 cups of powdered sugar slowly. Mix until combined.
  7. When the cake is completely cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 644
Total Fat 29.3 g
Saturated Fat 10.0 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 94.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 92.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 74.1 g
Sodium 314.9 mg
Protein 5.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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