Carrot cake is one of my guilty pleasures, and this one, as they say, takes the cake. I’ve had everyone from professional chefs to picky 4-year-olds come back to me demanding seconds and the recipe. The cake is incredibly rich and gooey, with a tender crumb, and is super versatile in what can be done with the batter. It makes a great layer cake, sheet cake, cupcakes, even swiss rolls! Traditional orange carrots are the norm, but venture out into different carrot colors, and even different root vegetables! Mix in shredded beets or parsnips for a slightly different take on the cake.
• 2 Cups all-purpose flour
• 2 Cups sugar
•1 Tsp salt
• 2 Tsp baking soda
• 2 Tsp baking powder
• 1 Tbsp cinnamon
• 1 Cup vegetable oil
• 4 Large eggs
• 4 Cups grated carrots
• 1 Cup raisins
• 1 Cup toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
Preheat oven to 350℉
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix eggs, oil, and carrots together, add to dry ingredients all at once, mix until just incorporated, and no more lumps are visible. The batter will be very thick and pull away from the sides of the bowl, that’s ok, it will loosen up as it bakes.
Pour batter into prepared pans (see options below) and bake according to timing below.
- 2x 9” round cake pans: spray with non-stick spray, and put a parchment circle on the bottom of the pans, spray more non-stick spray on top of the parchment. Bake for 50-55 minutes, allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
- Cupcake tins: line tins with cupcake liners, fill ⅔ full with batter, bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then cool completely on a cooling rack.
- 13” x 9” cake pan: spray with non-stick spray, put parchment on the bottom, leaving some hanging over the sides for handles, spray on top of parchment as well. Bake for 55-65 minutes, allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then lift out using parchment handles (if you plan to serve the cake in the pan, skip the parchment, allow the cake to cool in the pan completely)
- 2x ½ Sheet Pans for Swiss Rolls: line with parchment paper, pour half of the batter into the pans, and spread to corners with an offset spatula, trying to keep the layers fairly even. Bake for 30 mins, rotating pans halfway through. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top of the cooling cakes, and place a second cooling rack on top of that. Flip the cake over, and pull the pans off the cakes. As soon as possible, roll the cooling cakes into a tight spiral with the parchment paper in between the layers. Allow to cool completely, and then gently unroll, and ice with the desired filling before re-rolling.
Bakers Pro Tips:
- Substitute half of the oil with a half cup of buttermilk
- Substitute 1 Cup of granulated sugar with 1 Cup of packed brown sugar
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
• 1 Lb (4 sticks) butter- browned and cooled to room temp (instructions below)
• 1 Lb cream cheese, at room temp
• 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
• 2 Lb powdered sugar
• 1 Tsp kosher salt
To brown butter: in a small light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until completely melted. Allow the butter to cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, and then stir constantly as milk solids begin to brown. Once the butter begins to smell nutty, and milk solids begin to brown, stir for one more minute, remove the pan from the heat, and pour the butter into a mixing bowl to cool, scraping as much of the browned milk solids out of the pan as you can. Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes).
Mix everything except the powdered sugar together with a mixer until smooth, add powdered sugar (could be more or less than 2lb, depending on browned butter’s initial water content) until the desired consistency is reached.