Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite cake EVER. I realized a few weeks back that we don’t have a recipe for one on the blog, so here we are. This is a SOLID carrot cake recipe, I promise you! It’s rich, moist, dense but still airy…it’s perfect.
What’s in carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?
The cake is generally filled with grated carrots, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, raisins and walnuts. Since carrot cake is known to be a very moist cake, many will also add canned pineapple or applesauce to the batter. Cream cheese frosting is almost always paired with carrot cake because the slightly tangy and ultra creamy frosting melds so nicely with the moist, spiced cake.
I finely grate the carrot so that “melts” into the actual cake more. Currants were used instead of raisins because I like the tartness of the currants. I also omitted the walnuts from the batter since I’m not a huge fan of big chunks of things in my cakes, but they can easily be added. Walnuts were added to the top for a little crunchy texture. Pecans can also be used in place of the walnuts.
It’s worth mentioning this cream cheese frosting is unreal. I like my cream cheese frosting rich, very creamy and not overly sweet, so I added equal parts cream cheese and butter and less sugar overall. This frosting is not meant to be piped. It’s soft and meant to spread onto the cake. I love this set of offset spatulas that make cake frosting the cake so simple!
I promise you this cake will be your new go to recipe. It’s so good and very simple! This is a perfect spring cake recipe to make, just like our Browned Butter Cake with Vanilla-Honey Frosting! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups finely grated carrots
- 1 cup dried currants (raisins are fine)
cream cheese frosting
- 16 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to350˚F. Line the bottoms of 4(10 inch) cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. In another mixing bowl combine butter, sugars, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla and whisk together.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture ,in thirds, stirring together after each addition.
- Continue to stir batter until completely combined and no dry spots remain. Fold in carrots and currants.
- Fill each prepared cake pan evenly with batter.
- Bake each cake round for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of each round.
- Cool for 10 minutes before transferring each cake onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.Refrigerate cake layers for at least 2 hours.
- For Frosting: With a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and continue to beat together. Add vanilla, scrape down sides of the bowl and continue to beat together for 1 minute.
- To assemble: Slice off rounded cake tops to level them. Spread a thin layer of frosting between each layer of cake and neatly stack them atop one another. Frost the sides and top with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate cake for an hour. Remove chilled cake from the refrigerator and add another layer of frosting. Add crushed walnuts to top (and sides, if desired). Slice and serve.