Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I know, I know. I just posted this carrot cupcakes recipe literally two weeks ago, and here I am with another variation of carrot cake recipe. But, I do have a very special reason for it. One of the part-time students who works in my office was turning 21! Not only that she’s just a very sweet girl, she is also one of Charlotte’s fave people because she comes over and stays with Charlotte when Red and I are out of town. When I told her that I wanted to bake her a cake, she said that she really didn’t want to trouble me –but I insisted that I wanted to make her a cake. When I asked her what type of cake, she wanted a carrot cake! Sure enough, that’s what I did.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try this cake or take a picture of this cake after it was sliced because I was on my way out of the door. But Red did receive a generous slice from the birthday girl, and he liked the cake. He thought that the cake texture was more crumbly than the cupcakes, but he enjoyed his slice. The only issue that I had with this frosting was that I was hoping that this version of the frosting would be firm enough to be piped, but it wasn’t. Therefore I left the top of the cake plain and coated the side with toasted chopped pecans.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)

Bake the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (2) 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.

Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting (from Wilton)
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until fluffy and smooth.


10 Responses to Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mollie says:

    What would I do differently if I made in a 9×13 pan??? I know I wouldn’t put the nuts on the sides, but anything else in the process I should do differently?

    • h2babe says:

      I am guessing you will be using a metal pan? (not glass?), I would say that you can bake it still at 350 for about 5 mins longer. I would start checking at approx 28 mins, and then you can use the tooth pick check–and see if they are baked thoroughly or not. Don’t forget to grease the pan well. Do you plan on serving it with the pan or decorate it?

  2. Mollie says:

    Yes, metal pan…..I plan to just serve in the pan. Unless, you have some decorating ideas???

    • h2babe says:

      Can you find a decorating tip from a local baking store? If yes, you can make a nice border using big star tips, then cover the top of the cake with toasted pecans. You can also make carrot chips, or candied sliced carrots? πŸ˜‰

  3. Mollie says:

    Oohh….good idea. I think I might have some decorating tips somewhere..Or MAYBE I can find something here…..Good ideas!!!!

  4. Mollie says:

    What do you think about doing this cake w/ the frosting recipe from the carrot cake cupcakes? Would be ok??

    • h2babe says:

      Should be. I was just looking for a different flavor/consistency–this one didn’t use butter, the other one had butter in it and vanilla extract (thus, richer).

  5. Mollie says:

    I’m going to give the carrot cake recipe a try w/ the frosting from the cupcakes!!!!! YUMMMMMMMMM….will take some photos for you!

  6. Mollie says:

    I did a 9×13 sheet cake in a metal pan. It baked for about 40 min @ 350 degrees and turned out just fine. I cooled the cake on a wire rack and when i went to transfer it and frost it, about 1/4 of the bottom stuck to the wire rack!!!!! UGH!!! So, I tried to cover it with a bunch of frosting…but I think it will be too much frosting in some sections and too little cake.

    The cake itself is very good. I like it. It could be a breakfast cake or for muffins as well. I did the frosting from the carrot cake cupcakes and it’s also good. I’ll send you a picture. My cake decorating isn’t so good….and frosting it was tough….but, it’s a cake and it’s MY BIRTHDAY CAKE! So, I loooovee it!

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