Is there anything better than a steamy mug of tea and a slice of cake? Yes, there is… well, kind of. Elevate your morning or afternoon tea with a delicious cup of Teapigs tea paired with your very own delicious creation — the very best carrot cake recipe around.
Whether you are looking for a delicious treat to add to your packed lunch or want to whip up something tasty to share with loved ones over the weekend, this easy carrot cake recipe is just what you have been searching for.
So, let's get started, and in no time, you will know exactly how to bake the best carrot cake recipe from scratch. There are a lot of carrot cake recipes out there but trust us, there's only one carrot cake recipe that you need, and it's this one.
What is carrot cake?
Before we jump into the best carrot cake recipe ever, let's start with the basics. What exactly is carrot cake? Carrot cake boasts a distinct moist texture that stems from the grated carrots that are used in its batter. A flavourful carrot cake recipe often includes a dense crumb, blending spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. And, of course, a classic carrot cake recipe is finished with a crowd favourite, the irresistible cream cheese frosting. A layer of this tangy frosting creates the perfect contrast between sweet and savoury. The beauty of the carrot cake recipe is the divine juxtaposition.
Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? Well, stop thinking and let's get baking with this simple and easy carrot cake recipe!
How to make carrot cake?
Making a carrot cake from scratch is easy and breezy with this easy carrot cake recipe. Check out the steps below, and your home will be full of delicious aromas in no time as you discover your new favourite carrot cake recipe.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16 slices (This carrot cake recipe makes one 33cm double stacker cake.)
Nutritional value: (rough estimate per slice for this carrot cake recipe): 802.5 calories, 50.1g of total fat, 84.6g of carbohydrate, 3.6g of dietary fibre, 60.75g of total sugars, 8.4g of protein.
All you’ll need for this carrot cake recipe!
For the carrot cake itself:
- 5 tsp of vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 5 cups of grated peeled carrots, 5 to 6 medium carrots
- 5 of coarsely chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup of raisins
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 and ¾ tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 and ⅚ cups of canola or other vegetable oil
- 5 cups of granulated sugar
- 5 cups of lightly packed brown sugar
For the creamy frosting:
- 349 gm of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 and ⅚ cups of powdered sugar
- ½ cup of cold heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup of coarsely chopped pecans for topping cake
Let's get baking this tasty carrot cake recipe!
Making the batter
- To kick off this carrot cake recipe, first place a rack in the centre of the oven. Grease your cake pans, flouring both the bottoms and the sides. While you are there, preheat the oven to 176°C.
- Put on your apron; we are about to get mixing! Grab two separate bowls. In one medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well blended. In the other, combine the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add the eggs one by one to this bowl, whisking between each addition.
- It’s time to grab a large rubber spatula! Using a said spatula, scrape the bowl's sides and bottom, then add the dry ingredients in three parts, gently stirring until smooth.
- To finish the batter of this divine carrot cake recipe, add the raisins, nuts, and carrots and voila, your work for the batter is complete.
Baking the cake
- It’s time to grab your two cake pans and divide the cake batter evenly.
- Then… and this is exciting; your cake is ready to head to the oven! Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes. The time will depend on when your cake is ready. For this carrot cake recipe, you can test if it's ready by putting a toothpick in the centre; if it comes out clean, your cake is ready to be pulled out.
- Next, cool the cake in the pan for around 15 minutes before carefully turning the cake layers out onto cooling racks and removing the parchment paper to cool completely. If the cake is still sticking to the bottom of the pan, leave the pan upside down and wait… (This carrot cake recipe hasn't failed us yet!)
Finishing touches: icing and presentation
- The time has come; we are up to the finishing touches of this carrot cake recipe. Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy, which should take approximately one minute. After your cream cheese has reached its desired texture, add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until fluffy.
- Next, pour in the whipping cream. For 2 to 3 minutes, beat the frosting on medium speed until it becomes creamy and whipped. The icing will need to hang out in the fridge for a bit to chill, so cover it and pop it in the fridge while your cake layers cool down. Take a short break, watch a Tik Tok or tidy up the kitchen in the meantime.
- After the cake layers have completely cooled down, frost the top of one layer of the cake, then place the second layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting over the carrot cake and swirl it around with a butter knife or small spatula. Keep the sides of the cake unfrosted. On top, sprinkle nuts for a dazzling and impressive touch. (as per this carrot cake recipe; pecans)
- Voila, it's time to tuck into the very best carrot cake recipe around!
What does carrot cake taste like?
If you aren't convinced yet by the tasty and easy carrot cake recipe above and need a little sensory motivation, let us transport you to a cosy cafe (picture the cafe from Friends) with a steamy mug of tea and a delicious carrot cake that tastes like…
This one might surprise you, but carrot cake doesn't taste like a carrot! Not in the traditional sense anyway; instead, all of the sweetness and goodness from the carrot is blended with a warm spice profile and a moist and tender cake texture. The carrots add natural moisture to the carrot cake recipe, making it a very soft and moist cake. The cheese frosting effortlessly blends tangy and creamy, creating the perfect complement to the cake. Now, time to enjoy your wonderful carrot cake alongside our Earl Grey cake recipe… ahh, the perfect combination.
Here are some secret tips for baking a moist carrot cake recipe
Although following the above easy carrot cake recipe will get you 90% of the way there, we do have a few additional secret tips to ensure your carrot cake has a moist consistency.
Grate carrots finely: The more finely you grate the carrots, the more they will evenly distribute across the cake, bringing moisture with them!
Stick to oil over butter: Oil helps create the much-desired moist texture of a well-made carrot cake; using butter can result in a drier finish, so we recommend giving the butter a miss for this recipe.
Only mix until combined: It's tempting to overmix when you are in the kitchen, perhaps dressed in your apron and chef's hat, but overmixing can lead to a tougher cake. It's best to gently mix the ingredients until they are combined and then stop.
Keep an eye on your cake in the oven: Nobody likes a burnt cake, but even slight overbaking can dry out your cake, so keep an eye out for the signs that it’s finished and pull it out as soon as it's ready!
Okay, we will let you get cooking the very best carrot cake recipe; best of luck and please, save us a slice! Alternatively, if you are looking for further inspiration in the kitchen, maybe next time, mix it up with our cinnamon tea cake recipe.
faqs on carrot cake
Q: How long will homemade carrot cake last?
A: Wanting to know how long your latest creation will last? If you keep your homemade carrot cake in an airtight container in your fridge, it’ll be able to last for up to a week.
Q: How do you know if carrot cake is undercooked?
A: If your carrot cake is undercooked, it’ll have a wet and sticky centre. Before you take it out of the oven, remember to insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake, checking if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Don't take your carrot cake out of the oven until it passes this test, and you shouldn't have a problem with it being undercooked.
Q: Is it better to use oil or butter in carrot cake?
A: Oil is better for maintaining the moisture of the cake. Butter tends to add a dryness to the texture. If you want to avoid vegetable oil, you could consider swapping the oil for coconut oil and using slightly less so as not to overwhelm the recipe.
Q: Why did my carrots turn black in my carrot cake?
A: It's possible that carrots can turn black in a carrot cake due to a chemical reaction between the carrots and the baking soda used in the recipe. To avoid this, be careful to thoroughly mix the baking soda with the dry ingredients before adding the carrots.