How to Make Homemade Carrot Cake
Just as grocery carts are bursting with orange in the fall with all the pumpkins, in the spring they glow orange from all the carrots- as we celebrate Carrot Cake season!! You have to love a cake that works in some veggies right? This Homemade Carrot Cake is an easy classic recipe…. spring isn’t complete without it!
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Classic Carrot Cake
According to carrot cake history, no one really knows where carrot cake came from, It looks like it did evolve from the Carrot Pudding of medieval times, during the middle ages sugar and other sweeteners were difficult or expensive to come by in Britain and carrots were used as sugar substitutes.
While Carrot Cake as we know it today may be a far cry from its ancestors, it’s a favorite dessert this time of year and really easy to make from scratch (you’ll never grab a box mix again). A one layer carrot cake means no messing with perfectly level layers to stack or fancy decorating. It’s a great cake for beginners and pros alike.
Tips and Tricks to Homemade Carrot Cake Success
Grate your carrots. You can buy shredded carrots at the grocery store. But to really make your carrot cake moist and delicious you’re going to want to grate them yourself. Of course, you can grate your carrots by hand with a grater, but if you have a food processor or even a blender, it will be so much faster and easier. I love my little Kitchenaid 3.5 cup chopper for jobs like grating carrots. I use baby carrots, about 1/2 of a one-pound bag will yield 1½ cups grated carrots.
One bowl is all you need. After grating your carrots, no other equipment is needed. You can mix your carrot cake by hand (you can, of course, you an electric hand or stand mixer if you want). Simply mix wet ingredients with a hand whisk, then fold in the flour, carrots and other mix-ins with a wooden spoon or spatula. You want to be gentle with the batter once you’ve added the flour- don’t over mix, so mixing it by hand is best.
Use brown sugar. Brown sugar will give your carrot cake more flavor, as well as, yield a softer, more moist cake than if you use just white/granulated sugar.
Use applesauce in place of some of the oil. It’s such an easy way to reduce the fat and cut a few calories.
Customize with your favorite mix-ins. One of the great things about carrot cake is, it’s wonderful all on its own or with a variety of mix-ins. Try swapping the applesauce with crushed pineapple. Want to add raisins or coconut? walnuts instead of pecans? or leave out the nuts? Use any combination of raisins, coconut and nuts just keep the total amount to 1/2-3/4 of a cup. Feel free to mix in whichever your family enjoys, or you can leave them out altogether.
Carrot Cake stores well if you want to make it ahead of time. Be sure to cool cake completely, then cover tightly in a few layers plastic wrap to seal it tightly (do not wrap the cake on a plate or platter). Keep at room temperature. If it’s hot, you can store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Freeze for up to 1 month, thaw 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving. Prepared frosting can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days before using. Bring to room temperature before frosting carrot cake.
Leftover carrot cake? If for some reason you end up with leftover stale cake, make a Carrot Cake shake: Blend stale cake with ice cream to make a decadent frozen treat.
How To Make The Best Carrot Cake
(full recipe at the end of this post)
The naturally sweet carrots, combined with brown sugar, applesauce and a surprise touch of ginger makes this carrot cake recipe a fantastic dessert for spring. The cream cheese frosting complements it perfectly and is not overly sweet.
To keep things simple, use one 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan. If you want to make a 2-layer cake, you will need to double the recipe.
Start with a large bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk sugars, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and continue whisking until incorporated.
Then, add flour to wet ingredients, and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula just until combined. Fold in grated carrots and chopped pecans (reserve pecans are for garnish after frosting).
Next, pour the cake batter into greased cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make Cream Cheese Frosting: Use a large bowl with electric mixer and beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, powdered sugar and cream.
Then beat on low for 1 minute, increase speed to medium and continue beating for another minute. Scrape sides of bowl if necessary, increase speed to high and continue beating for another 2 minutes.
Frost the top of the cooled carrot cake, and sprinkle with chopped pecans and enjoy!!
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More Carrot Cake recipes you might enjoy!
- Carrot Cake Smoothie Recipe at Gimme Some Oven
- Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cake Recipe at Crazy for Crust
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod
- Carrot Cake Gooey Bars Recipe at Life Love and Sugar
- Carrot Cake Waffles recipe at Strength and Sunshine
- Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls recipe at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
- Carrot Cake Pancakes recipe at Chef in Training
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe at Taste and Tell
Like This Classic Carrot Cake Recipe? Pin It!
I hope you and your family and friends enjoy this incredibly moist carrot cake recipe with an ultra-creamy cream cheese frosting as much as we do. Spring isn’t complete without a classic Carrot Cake on the dessert table
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for Carrot Cake: for Cream Cheese Frosting: Assemble: If you'd like to make cupcakes, bake for about 18-20 minutes. (should yield about 12 cupcakes) If you'd like to make a layer cake, just double the recipes According to Food Network Kitchens you should always refrigerate any cake that has cream cheese frosting. Take it out of the refrigerator an hour or two before you’d like to serve it so the frosting has time to come to room temperature and the cake layers lose their chill. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For Cream Cheese Frosting
for Carrot Cake:
for Cream Cheese Frosting:
If you'd like to make cupcakes, bake for about 18-20 minutes. (should yield about 12 cupcakes)
If you'd like to make a layer cake, just double the recipes
According to Food Network Kitchens you should always refrigerate any cake that has cream cheese frosting. Take it out of the refrigerator an hour or two before you’d like to serve it so the frosting has time to come to room temperature and the cake layers lose their chill.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.