No-fail Carrot Cake Recipe + VIDEO

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Once you bake my no-fail carrot cake with cheese cream frosting, you will agree that this is the most delicious and moist carrot cake you can dream of. 

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Note: Thanks to the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs, I receive compensation for the products sold through the affiliate links in this post at no cost to the buyer.

A bunch of carrots.

Besides being the most delicious carrot cake ever, it’s covered with the perfect not-too-sweet tangy cream cheese frosting and, on top, toasted pecans. The best part: this American classic is the easiest dessert to make!

Love at first bite

Ingredients to make homemade carrot cake, including flour, eggs, grated carrots and brown sugar.

During the summer of 1991, I fell in love with carrot cake at The Violet. In that café on the corner of Washington Square E and W 4th St, in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, I decided to move to New York City to attend grad school.

When I finally moved to New York in the summer of 1993, The Violet wasn’t there anymore. But then I started my search for the perfect, moist carrot cake with the ideal not-so-sweet cream cheese frosting. 

In search of the perfect carrot cake

Carrot cake dry ingredients in a glass bowl with a spatula.

In the winter of 1994, while I was attending SIPA (Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs), my sister Andreína happened to be in NYC for the Holidays.  We took the train to New Haven to visit Yale University.

We got there in the middle of the most ferocious snowstorm. It was snowing, and it was windy. But my sister was determined to go to the Biology Department, where she later did her post-doctoral research.

Carrt cake wet ingredients. Grated carrots being added to eggs and oil.

We went to a coffee shop for hot cocoa. Then, a miracle happened. In front of me, there was the most beautiful carrot cake ever. I ordered a piece and had it calmly, enjoying every single bite. Remember this: I’m from Venezuela, and we didn’t have carrot cake there.

A few years later, back in Caracas and always craving a decent piece of carrot cake, I bought a book just for its carrot cake recipe. Useless. A giant epic fail. So the search started again… and the good thing is I never gave up.

Carrot cake dry ingredients being added to the wet ingredient.

The best homemade carrot cake ever

When I moved to Southern California in 2007, I found a cooking Bible: The Better Homes (and Gardens) New Cook Book, which happens to be America’s #1 Cookbook since 1930 and has everything you need to know to survive to be happy in the kitchen.

Carrot cakes out of the oven.

I owe that book the inspiration to make the best homemade carrot cake recipe. A staple in my kitchen, this cake is the real stuff. When I say real, I mean it: I used carrots from my kitchen garden. Can you believe it? My first carrot harvest ever. 

9 tips to make the perfect moist crumb carrot cake

The making of the cream cheese frosting.

What follows are my tips for making the perfect carrot cake:

  1. Instead of plain white sugar, use a mix of white sugar and brown sugar. White sugar adds a delicious texture, especially to the outside of the cake, while brown sugar adds color, flavor, and moisture.
  2. To save time, shred the carrots in a food processor. You can also have grated carrots using a box grater will do the job too.
  3. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour. There is no need to use cake flour.
  4. This recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of butter. The oil is critical to keeping the moisture of your cake.
  5. Since I discovered the Danish dough whisk, it’s been my favorite tool to make this cake batter.
  6. Add ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. The spices add complexity creating a flavorful carrot cake.
  7. This is the classic carrot cake recipe. There is no need to add pineapple. The crumb is moist enough. 
  8. This cake rises generously in the oven, so I like to bake it in two 9-inch-diameter cake pans or four 6-inch pans (these make a beautiful layer cake.) If you don’t have two pans, baking the cake in a bundt cake pan may be a better option.
  9. Once the cakes are baked, let them completely cool down on a wire rack. Wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before frosting them.
Carrot Cake with cream cheese forstin and pecans on top.

Best cream cheese frosting recipe

I omit the classic cream cheese and butter mixture with powdered sugar. To make the cream cheese frosting for this delicious cake, I make it with cream cheese, heavy cream, and confectioners’ sugar. 

Carrot Cake slice.

By doing this, I significantly reduce the amount of sugar without sacrificing flavor. To make this tangy frosting, you need an electric mixer, be it a stand or a hand mixer, and follow these steps:

  1. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour before frosting them.
  2. Cream the cheese so there are no lumps in the frosting.
  3. Add the heavy cream and beat at medium speed.
  4. Progressively, add confectioners’ sugar, and once the frosting reaches the desired consistency, add vanilla or almond extract. I prefer almond extract because it enhances the flavor of the pecans I add to the cake.

Pecans for an extra layer of flavor and crunch

Carrot Cake slice.

I love topping my carrot cakes with pecans. They add an extra layer of flavor and texture. To enhance the pecan’s flavor, fragrance, and crunchiness, I roast them first in the oven. You can also toast them on a pan on the stove or a dish in the microwave.

Best carrot cake recipe

Carrot Cake slice.

Following is my recipe card with step-by-step instructions, plus a video. I hope you like this homemade carrot cake as much as we do. Thanks for subscribing to my Youtube channel and visiting my Amazon shop.

Carrot Cake bite on a fork.
Torta de Zanahoria- SAVOIR FAIRE by enrilemoine
5 from 15 votes

Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

This carrot cake has a fluffy and moist crumb and is considered one of my best recipes. It’s not too sweet and is covered with a decadent cream cheese frost. This classic American dessert recipe makes delicious carrot cake cupcakes, perfect for Easter lunch or as a snack. Serve it with coffee or tea, and you’ll be in heaven.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 561kcal

Ingredients

For the cakes

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups carrots, finely grated

For the frosting

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

For the cakes

  • For best results, have all the ingredients at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray.
  • Combine dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg, in a medium bowl.
  • Combine wet ingredients with a fork, whisk, or Danish mixer: eggs, oil, and carrots, in a large bowl.
  • Add dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix well.
  • Divide the batter into the previously prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer the pans to two wire racks and let them cool for 10 minutes.
  • Unmold the cakes and let them completely cool down. Wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Chop the pecans and put the nuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350°F until fragrant. You can also toast them in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, until fragrant.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the cream cheese at low speed until smooth.
  • Add heavy cream and beat to combine. Add confectioners sugar in small amounts and continue beating.
  • Once the frosting reaches the desired consistency, add almond extract and mix.
  • Cover the top of one cake with the frosting.
  • Place the other cake on top. Cover the sides and the top with frosting, as in the photos, or decorate it as a naked cake, as in the video. If you choose a naked cake, save leftover frosting in an airtight container.
  • Garnish with pecan halves, as in the photos, or with chopped pecans, as in the video.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 561 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 11g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 204mg9%
Potassium 306mg9%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 6015IU120%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 104mg10%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake recipe, cream cheese frosting recipe, how to make carrot cake, how to make cream cheese frosting
Enri

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