Jumping Into the Spring Season With a Easy, Creative Homemade Treat: Carrot Cake

With spring in full swing, many people are looking for the perfect dessert to bring to cookouts, parties and gatherings. While cookies and cupcakes are usually the go-to, why not switch it up and bake a carrot cake? Not only is making a carrot cake on theme with the season, but it is also a delightfully delicious dessert. This simple one-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is entirely homemade and easy to follow.

 

Ingredients

 

For the Carrot Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (measured via spoon and level method)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick + 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature preferable)
  • 2 cups grated carrots (from 2-3 large carrots)*
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Extra grated carrots and/or chopped walnuts or pecans for decoration (optional)

 

Instructions:

 

For the Carrot Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to give extra insurance that the cake will come out cleanly. For this, trace the bottom of the pan on a sheet of parchment paper and cut it out, then place it inside the pan. 
  • In a medium-size bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl (preferably a large glass bowl). Let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool. Then, whisk in the brown sugar, followed by the eggs (one at a time), until combined and smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched, and a tester (like a toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool on a rack (while still in the pan) for 10 minutes. It may take longer, though. Then, flip the pan upside down onto the cake rack to release the cake. Remove the parchment from the bottom, and flip the cake right side up onto a cake plate. Let the cake cool while you prepare the frosting.

 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • In a large bowl, use either a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer to beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until pale and very fluffy (this should take 2-3 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, and mix at medium to high speed until fully combined and light.
  • Spread cream cheese frosting onto the cooled cake. It should make a thick layer and can be swirled in patterns with an offset spatula
  • Decorate the outer edges of the cake with additional grated carrots and chopped walnuts (or pecans if desired). If you want, you can cover the entirety of the cake with these toppings. Then serve!

 

Notes:

  • The cake will keep well-wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can microwave leftover pieces of cake for 20 seconds to reheat. 

*I grated the carrots by hand using a box grater, which sounds like a lot of work but doesn’t take that long since you only need 2-3 large carrots to get 2 cups worth of grated carrots. Carrots can also be grated in a food processor, but make sure they are very finely grated. If they aren’t, they may not soften enough as the cake bakes.

 

All in all, this carrot cake was immaculate! Although buying the ingredients to make it was a little pricey, it was worth it. All the flavors and textures go perfectly together. My family absolutely loved this cake, and I hope yours will too!