Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a simple and delicious, homemade carrot cake recipe that anyone can make and everyone will love!
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When I was a kid you couldn’t pay me to eat carrot cake. I know, I must have been crazy…but I remember thinking it was ridiculous to put vegetables in a cake and that it must taste horrible. You might be thinking I was one of those vegetable-hating kids, but that’s not the case. I loved carrots, but I was a purist when it came to food. I’d eat almost any vegetable, but if they were somehow touching on my plate then we had a problem. Carrots in a cake was just too much for me.
I can’t exactly remember the day I got over my irrational food-combination issues, but homemade carrot cake is one of the reasons I’m glad I did. Who would have thought that those sweet little root vegetables could make a cake taste this great??
Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Now because I’m a purist, the ingredients in this recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting are simple and basic. There are no nuts or pineapple in the batter; just carrots, buttermilk, and all kinds of good old fashioned sugar and spice. You are going to love it!
2-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 12 oz light cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp milk optional, depending on frosting consistency
- 1/2 cup sweetened toasted coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing them well and lining the bottom with a circular piece of parchment paper. It's also a good idea to grease on top of the parchment paper and flour the cake pans as well.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a large bowl and whisk them together until combined.
- Add the shredded carrots to the dry ingredients and whisk them in until they're evenly distributed throughout the dry ingredients.
- To a separate bowl, add the eggs, canola oil and buttermilk and whisk them together well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine them with a rubber spatula just until no streaks of flour remain.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cake layers comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from their pans and cool them upside down on cooling racks until they cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Add the room temperature cream cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the cream cheese on medium high speed until it's creamy and smooth.
- Add the softened butter and the vanilla extract to the cream cheese and continue to whip on medium speed until they're well combined (you might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl at this point).
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on medium-low speed until it's completely blended and thick. If at this point the frosting is too thick to spread, beat in a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen it up a little bit (add the milk a couple teaspoons at a time just to be sure you don't add too much!).
- Once the frosting has reached the right consistency and the cake has cooled completely, frost the cake with a knife or an offset spatula, making sure there's a generous layer of frosting between the layers before frosting the sides and the top.
You can frost the cake any way you like, with a rustic swirl pattern or with smooth upward strokes, like I did this time. Once it's frosted, top it with the toasted coconut and chopped walnuts and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before slicing.
Once it’s chilled, the frosting will set enough that you’ll be able to cut into it cleanly with a warm knife. Just take a look at that deliciousness! The texture of the carrot cake is absolutely moist and tender and the cream cheese frosting is perfectly light and fluffy.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Don’t forget to check out all the other Foodie Mamas’ carrot-inspired recipes linked below!
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More Mouthwatering Carrot Recipes
Ali from Home and Plate is sharing her Soft-Batch Oatmeal Carrot Cake Cookies this month!
Doesn’t this Tropical Carrot Smoothie look amazing? Check it out on Amanda’s blog The Chunky Chef!
We’re welcoming a new Foodie Mama this month! Lucy from Turnip the Oven is sharing these Chili Roasted Carrot and Avocado Tacos!
Sara from Life’s Little Sweets is sharing these Turmeric Carrot Fritters this month!
This Quick Carrot Salad from Deepika at Easy Baby Meals looks like a great way to enjoy everyone’s favourite orange vegetable!
Manju is sharing this delicious Carrot Vermicelli Pudding on her blog Cooking Curries this month!
Kaitie from Fuchsia Freezer is sharing these mouthwatering Maple Roasted Carrots this month!