Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake

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This is the ultimate carrot cake! The sweetness of the carrots, the warmth of the cinnamon and ginger wrapped in a cream cheese frosting with the combination of the pecans makes for a complexity of flavors like no other cake.

I always try to bake whatever kind of cake David wants for his birthday. Usually, his number one cake of choice is Carrot Cake. I found a really good carrot cake recipe last year and used the same one again this year.

shredded carrots

How To Make Ultimate Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with butter and dusting them with flour.

Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.

grated carrots in food processor

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. By hand, stir in the carrots, pecans (and raisins, if using) just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

cake cooling in pans

Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them. Continue to cool the cakes completely before frosting.

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the extracts and beat just until incorporated. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the flavor and consistency you want. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

spreading icing on ultimate carrot cake

Place the bottom layer on a cake plate. Scoop about 1 ½ cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer. Using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface.

Carefully place the second layer on top. Scoop the rest of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides. Spread the icing on the sides of the cake. Chill the cake in the refrigerator a little while to firm up the frosting before slicing.

serving ultimate carrot cake

Note: If you want to cut back on sugar, eliminate the brown sugar! You won’t even miss it! I’ll blame it on cold medication that I was taking for forgetting to add the brown sugar, but you cannot even tell it. 

ultimate carrot cake sliced with milk and mountain view

It’s hard to bake during the workweek, so I waited until Sunday to make him his cake. He was a little impatient, but he finally got his cake.

With the holidays coming up, I know this is a favorite in many homes. I hope you will try this recipe for this Ultimate Carrot Cake and share it with your families and let me know what you think. Besides, it’s loaded with veggies and it is so good for you, right?!?

ultimate carrot cake
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5 from 1 vote

Ultimate Carrot Cake

The sweetness of the carrots, the warmth of the cinnamon and ginger wrapped in a cream cheese frosting with pecans makes this ultimate carrot cake!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cake, Ultimate
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 694kcal

Ingredients

The Cake

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 eggs extra-large, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 pound carrots finely grated
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter 1 stick, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar to taste

Instructions

The Cake

  • ​Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with butter and dusting them with flour.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. By hand, stir in the carrots, pecans (and raisins, if using) just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them. Continue to cool the cakes completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add extracts and beat just until incorporated. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the flavor and consistency you want. You may not need to add all of the sugar.

Assemble The Cake

  • Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or flat surface. Scoop about 1 ½ cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer. Using a butter knife or offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface. Carefully place the second layer on top. Scoop the rest of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake. Chill the cake in the refrigerator a little while to firm up the frosting before slicing.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Zoe Bakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 7170IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2.2mg
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Photos Updated: 11/23/2018

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11 thoughts on “Ultimate Carrot Cake”

  • Oh my goodness Debbie that cake looks wonderful! I wished you had a bakery around here so I could just go buy a slice! ha It would be very dangerous to have the whole cake here! Thanks for sharing! Paula
    .

    • I’m no baker for sure. Everything has to be too precise and it is too time consuming. This cake is healthy. It has carrots in it and I left out 2/3 cup of brown sugar…lol! You should try it. A good recipe for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • We don’t always eat awesome, but when we do we don’t hold back. I would ship you a slice if I thought it would be any good when it got there. We sure don’t need to eat all of this cake!! It is healthy though, it doesn’t have all the sugar it is supposed to and it has carrots in it. Good for the eyes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • this recipe looks incredible! I’m just curious how much it serves because it says 4 servings and I feel like it looks bigger then that.

    • Hi Amanda!

      Thanks so much for asking that question. Apparently, Yummly has misjudged the size of the cake. It is a normal 9-inch diameter double layer cake. I would say it would serve 8-10 easily. Sorry to mislead you, but it some how automatically comes up with the servings when adding to the sight.

      I appreciate you bringing that to my attention! I hope you enjoy the cake. It is my husband’s favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Debbie

  • 5 stars
    Perfect texture. I left out the raisins and replaced the walnuts with toasted pecans but followed the recipe otherwise.

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