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For the past four years I have made a carrot cake for Craig’s birthday. I’m not sure what made him want a carrot cake in the first place but now it has become somewhat of a tradition. It’s a good thing I like carrot cake because this year I made an entire cake for only two people…

 

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In the past I have switched it up by making a carrot cake/cheesecake hybrid. While that is delicious, there is something nice about making the classic. This year too his birthday fell even closer to Easter which made me even more excited to make this carrot cake!

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What I have learned about carrot cake by making it so many times is that the spices and frosting really make the cake. What I have also learned is that there is no place for raisins or pineapple in carrot cake!

 

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The first year I made a carrot cake I tried to make it with all the fixin’s. Big mistake. Raisins, no thank you. Pineapple, go back to your piña colada. Trust me carrot cake tastes best with lots of carrots and some nuts for texture.

 

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With that being said I won’t judge you (much) if you want to add raisins or crushed pineapple to your cake. Pineapple is less common in carrot cake than raisins I’ve realized but both can be added at the end of making the batter in this recipe.

 

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I promise you though if you make this cake as is you will not be disappointed. It is super moist and you will have to restrain yourself from eating all the frosting beforehand. It’s the perfect cake to celebrate the first day of Spring!

 

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Classic Carrot Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

2 9inch cakes

Ingredients

    Carrot Cake
  • 1 ½ cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 lb (or about 8-9) large carrots, finely grated
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed)

Instructions

    Make the cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 inch cake pans and cut out parchment paper circles to fit. Grease and flour on top of the parchment paper and the sides of the pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil and sugars until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves until combined. In three batches, add dry in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in grated carrots with a spatula. If adding pecans, gently fold them in as well.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (time varies depending on oven). Remove pans from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Then, remove cakes from pans and let cool on wire rack until room temperature. (Cakes must be cooled completely before frosting!)
  6. Make the frosting
  7. In a large bowl beat together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth with no lumps.
  8. Add in vanilla and salt, mixing until combined.
  9. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time on low speed. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar until desired thickness.
  10. To assemble cake
  11. To make a four layer cake, slice each cake in half horizontally with a bread knife, making it as even as possible.
  12. Start with the top half of a cake and place upside down on a cake stand with a dollop of frosting spread in the middle to keep the cake from moving around. Add a good amount of frosting and spread out evenly to the edges. Add bottom layer on top. Do the same with the frosting and the remaining layers, making sure to save enough frosting for the outside. Frost the outside with an offset spatula. Don't worry if it's not perfect!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://theravenouskitchen.com/classic-carrot-cake-w-cream-cheese-frosting/

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