Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Cook Time: Depends on what size pan you use, see below
Until recently I had never cooked a carrot cake. I had eaten carrot cake a few times and it was pretty good but it wasn’t until I had a homemade one from a dear friend of mine that I fell in love with this moist and delicious cake. I got the recipe from her about 8 months ago and I’ve made it several times for family gatherings, birthdays, or just because it sounded good. Don’t be intimidated by the grated carrots, especially if you have a food processor. The first time I made it I thought it would take a lot longer than it did and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the batter came together. If you’re in a hurry, you can use store bought frosting – I would definitely recommend the cream cheese flavor. If you have a little extra time you should definitely make the frosting. Homemade cream cheese frosting is absolutely incredible. It matches just perfectly with the moist and subtle flavor of the carrot cake. One quick note about the frosting – if you are going to make a rectangular cake and leave it in the 9 x 13 pan then this recipe will be the right amount. If you plan to do two 9 inch rounds and stack them then you will want to double the frosting recipe to make sure you have enough. Also with two 9 inch rounds, make sure you put a generous amount of frosting between the layers. It is not only scrumptious but is also makes for a beautiful presentation when you cut and serve it.
Here is what you will need:
For the cake:
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups finely shredded/grated carrots
1 cup oil (I use vegetable)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 stick butter, softened (use the real butter, you can definitely tell a difference in taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
The Instructions for the cake:
In a small bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, mix the sugar and oil with your mixer. Add the eggs one at a time then add your carrots. Beat at medium speed until blended (about a minute). Then slowly add your flour mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Pour your batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan and bake for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees. My oven cooks a little quicker than most and it finished around 42 minutes. Let your cake cool completely (at least an hour) or your frosting will melt on the cake. Make your frosting and spread if over your cake and serve. You will want to keep the cake in the fridge since the frosting is made of cream cheese and real butter. I like it pull it out about 25 minutes before serving to knock the chill off.
If you are using two 9-inch round pans, you will want to bake them for about 30-40 minutes. The key to knowing a cake is done – a toothpick will come out clean when inserted in the middle and the cake will “spring back” when you push on it very gently. Let them rest in the pans for about 20-25 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to help them release. Place your cake plate upside down on top of your pan and making sure you have a good grip, flip it over and your cake should release onto your plate. I love this cake because I’ve never had it stick. It always comes out just perfectly every time (I can’t say that about other recipes I’ve made!). Let the cake cool completely and frost it and enjoy!
The Instructions for the frosting:
Cream the butter and cream cheese with your mixer. Add the vanilla until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all mixed together. You should have a nice, spreadable consistency. If you have extra left over - it is delicious on fresh strawberries, pineapple and grapes.