Gonna brag, because my carrot cake recipe is truly world famous! Everyone who tastes it, loves it. It’s the most requested cake by my family and friends. It’s always the birthday cake of choice for my youngest daughter. And, when my neighbor found out he had to follow a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, the first thing he thought about was missing my carrot cake!
You know what they say about needing 10,000 hours to perfect something? Well, I’ve put in the hours because I’ve been making this cake since I was 15. My roommate in high school’s mom made this for us when we first visited and I had to have the recipe.
What makes this carrot cake delicious is the simplicity of the ingredients (the only add-ins are carrots; there are no pineapples, walnuts, raisins, or coconut) as well as the generous 2 cups of grated carrots. It’s also made with 2 cups of sugar, so it’s sweet and moist. I’ve tweaked the original recipe by using 1/2 a cup of yogurt and 1 cup of canola oil, instead of the 1 1/2 cups of oil the original recipe calls for. I think this makes the difference in how moist the cake is. You can, of course, use 1 1/2 cups of oil if you don’t have yogurt on hand (and, if you want to keep the cake portion dairy-free.)
The recipe makes three 8-inch round pans for a three-layer cake. I always make 2 generous 8-inch rounds plus one small 9 by 13 inch loaf. The loaf is for the family to eat as soon as it comes out of the oven, because they just can’t wait until the cake cools and for me to ice it! The loaf is not high, but it’s enough to satisfy the need to taste and snack on the cake right away.
In terms of frosting, I use cream cheese frosting, and the recipe is below. I like my desserts very sweet, so you can bet that I put a thick coat of frosting on this carrot cake.
Here’s my recipe:
The Best Carrot Cake, Ever!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup 2 % yogurt (anything from 1% to 3.25% will work)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of grated carrots
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour three 8-inch round pans
- Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Mix oil, yogurt, and sugar well, with a stand or hand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Fold in the carrots.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pan sizes you have chosen (see tips and tricks below).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes if using the three 8-inch pans. Check at 20 minutes, and add 5 minutes at a time if not done when you test with a toothpick.
- Bake for 25 minutes if using two 9-inch pans, and check them at 25 minutes, adding 5-10 minutes at a time until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Ice with cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
- Decorate for any occasion using whatever colors and decorations you want.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese, light or full fat
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups of icing sugar
- 1-3 T of heavy cream
Beat the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese. You can use cream cheese from a tub, but the brick cream cheese is usually thicker and requires less thinning out with cream and less added sugar. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Adjust with more sugar or more cream, depending on the type of cream cheese you have used. Tint with food coloring, if using.
- I use two 8-inch rounds and one 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Place most of the batter in the 8-inch rounds and about 1 inch of batter in the loaf pan.
- You can use two 9-inch pans.
- If the tops of the baked rounds have a peak, you will have to trim the tops so that you have two level cakes to work with and frost.
- To frost the cake, place the first round with the smooth side down on a plate and ice it. Then take the other round cake and flip it upside down so the smooth bottom of the round loaf becomes the top of the cake.
- To make this cake with a lemon twist, check out my first blog post, ever, which is the Yummy Lemon Carrot Cake.
I hope you try my world-famous carrot cake. It really is that good!! It’s the star of almost every celebration we have. Here’s an example of this carrot cake as the focus of Easter brunch, along with the white chocolate bark I shared earlier this week.
How do you make your carrot cake? What variations do you make? Please leave me a comment, because I really want to know!
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