In my humble opinion, this truly is the best carrot cake recipe! It’s perfectly moist and delicious, made with lots of fresh carrots, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting.
I was planning to wait and post this recipe closer to Easter. But as you all know, I seem to have zero patience when it comes to sharing recipes I’ve made that I really love.
THE BEST CARROT CAKE
This classic carrot cake recipe is moist, perfectly-spiced and made with lots of fresh carrots and a cream cheese frosting.
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR PREP TIME: 30 MINS COOK TIME: 30 MINS
CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or you can use vegetable oil or canola oil)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 pound finely-grated* fresh carrots
(optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)
DIRECTIONS: HOW TO MAKE THE CARROT CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)
then the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.
I then like to pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool off slightly. Then remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.
Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days. HOW TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.
If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.
*You can either grate fresh carrots by hand with a box grater, or grate them with a food processor by using the shredding disk.