Easy Carrot Cake Recipe from Scratch
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This Carrot Cake Recipe is so easy and full of flavor that once you’ve made it once you want to keep making it. With this recipe, you will amaze your guests without wasting too much time in the kitchen.
When it comes to carrot cake, it’s easy to think that it’s not an easy recipe (the same happens with the Red Velvet Cake Recipe): in fact, on a first look, a carrot cake usually looks extremely hard to make at home. In reality, it’s quite a simple recipe, but it requires a bit of effort in mixing all the ingredients and make sure the cake itself won’t be dry and won’t be, at the same time, too moist.
Our carrot cake recipe is so easy, and you don’t even need a mixer: just a couple of bowls, a spatula, a spoon, and the ingredients.
How to Make a Carrot Cake From Scratch
The method is straightforward and quick: first, mix the dry ingredient in a bowl, then mix the wet ingredients and then combine the two. In the end, stir in carrots without skimping on quantity.
This batter is also really versatile: you can stir in nuts, dried fruits or leave it as it is. It depends on your taste and also when you make it.
The traditional carrot cake recipe includes a layer of cream cheese frosting: it supposed to be mandatory to give a special kick to the cake, but if you want, you can skip it, leave your cake as it is, sift a little bit of powdered sugar on top and eventually serve with some ice cream or whipped cream.
How to Make Carrot Cake Frosting
The traditional carrot cake frosting is made with cream cheese that is mixed with the butter, the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. This cake frosting is perfect because it’s not too sweet and really goes well with the cake. You can also go for unsweetened whipped cream if you want something lighter.
The following recipe is to prepare a frosted layer cake: you can decide to bake the batter all together in a single pan to avoid the frosting and obtain a cake like the one you can see in the image lazy photo above.
Ingredients for for two 9-inch round cake pans
- 4 eggs
- 250 ml of vegetable oil
- 450 grams of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 250 grams of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
- 350 grams of grated carrots
- 100 grams of chopped walnuts
- 100 grams of softened butter
- 230 grams of cream cheese
- 220 grams of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F;
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with oil, sugar and vanilla extract;
- In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until well blended;
- Slowly stir the wet mix into the dry one, whisking until well blended;
- Add the grated carrots and the roughly chopped walnuts and mix well.
- Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until the surface is gold and if inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake it comes out completely dry.
- Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.
- In a bowl, beat the softened butter with the cream cheese, the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.
- When both the cakes are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer with the cream cheese frosting and place the other cake layer on top.
- Decorate the top of the cake with remaining frosting or leave it as it is and decorate with walnuts, sugar paste or sugar.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 2 hours
How to decorate a carrot cake
You can decorate your carrot cake based on the season or the event for which the cake has been prepared. Here a few examples:
With Easter themed sugar paste figurines
This cake is perfect for Easter: decorate the surface with Easter-themed sugar paste figurines such as rabbits, carrots, and so on. You can make your own decorations by working with homemade sugar paste or buy yours. Prepare this cake together with these Easter Sugar Cookies, and you won’t be disappointed.
Sprinkle the surface of the cake with powdered sugar, plain or flavored with cinnamon. Remember that if you put the cake into the fridge, the sugar will melt.
Carrot Cake Recipe: Tips
If you want to get the best carrot cake ever, follow these tips and you won’t have any problem at all:
- Avoid lumps in the batter by sifting all the dried ingredients before blending them;
- Always leave a carrot cake in the pan for at least five minutes to cool once it comes out of the oven so to avoid its collapse;
- If the carrot cake is stuck to the pan, run a wet knife around the sides to help loosen it;
- You can store a carrot cake in an airtight container on the counter out of direct sunlight for a couple of days;
- You can also prolong your carrot cake’s life by wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in the refrigerator.
What do You Need to Make a Carrot Cake at Home
These are a few tools you may need if you want to make a perfect carrot cake from scratch at home. They will simplify your life, and you will use and reuse them to make other cakes as well:
- Wilton Aluminum Round Cake Pans Set – View on Amazon
- McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract – View on Amazon
- Organic Cinnamon Powder – View on Amazon
- Reynolds Kitchens Non-Stick Parchment Paper – View on Amazon
- KitchenAid KHM512IC Hand Mixer – View on Amazon
- Grater – View on Amazon
Carrot Cake: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you refrigerate carrot cake with cream cheese icing?
Yes, it would be best if you always refrigerated a carrot cake that has cream cheese frosting. Take it out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before eating it.
How fine should I grate carrots for carrot cake?
The finer you grate the carrots, the better the texture will be. Make sure that there won’t be chunks of carrots in your cake. Otherwise, they won’t distribute evenly.
How do you shred carrots for carrot cake?
Use a grater for the best result. Using a knife is time-consuming and doesn’t guarantee a good result.