When your Mom’s birthday falls on Easter you have to be the one to make the carrot cake.
And you have to make it from scratch with actual carrots. And you have to cover it with homemade cream cheese frosting. And you also have to top it with tiny carrot rosettes.
Because that’s what she would do.
I didn’t have a go-to carrot cake prior to trying this one, but now I do. I have printed this for myself and for my fellow bakers. It’s in my old school cookbook binder in a plastic cover where I can keep it to have and to hold from this day forward.
This comes from the “Gimme Some Oven” blog. Ali appears to be the sweetest little doll from what I see and she calls this her “BEST Carrot Cake”. I didn’t change a thing.
Ingredients n’ thangs for the CAKE:
- 1 lb Fresh Carrots – Finely Shredded
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
- 1 1/2 + 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 6 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 1/4 Cups Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- Pinch of Ground Cloves
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Per the recipe suggestion – I used three 8 inch round cake pans. Grease and flour them well so that your cake doesn’t stick!
Next you’ll want to shred a 1 lb bag of carrots. I used a food processor, but you could do it by hand as well. (store bought shredded are too thick, so it’s not a shortcut I’d suggest).
Make the Batter
Mix together both sugars with the oil until smooth with an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla while mixing well.
In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients – nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients. Once that’s combined well you’ll want to fold in the carrots and nuts by hand being careful not to over mix.
Evenly distribute the batter into your three cake pans and bake for 25-ish minutes (just depends on your oven) until you can insert a toothpick that comes out clean. Let cakes stand on your wire rack until completely cool before icing your cake.
**Tip!** I take a damp kitchen towel and wrap it around the base of each pan so that they don’t peak in the middle and cook more evenly. This actually works(!) and it makes it so much easier when you plan on stacking them on top of each other.
Prepare the frosting while your cakes cool.
Ingredients n’ thangs for the FROSTING:
- 2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
- Three 8oz packages of Light Cream Cheese
- Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- 6 Cups Powdered Sugar
Cream the butter and the cream cheese in your electric mixer and then add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar one cup at a time. When you’re nearing cups 5 and 6 use your judgement to get the frosting consistency you prefer.
Stack your three cakes adding a layer of frosting in between each and then continue frosting the outside of the cake.
For the carrot rosettes, use a vegetable peeler to make some carrot strips. Twist them into a rose and stick into the frosting deep enough to keep the rose from unwinding. I stole a few fern leaves for garnish!
Mom loved the cake and thought the rosettes were darling. Thanks Ali!