Loads of shredded carrots, raisins, and warm spices make this moist carrot cake recipe the ultimate treat.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Butter: Use unsalted butter because cream cheese already contains a good amount of salt.
- Cream cheese: Use a good quality cream cheese like Philadelphia. Avoid using low-fat cream cheese. These will not yield the same results.
- Sugar: Confectioners’ sugar also known as powdered sugar is the only sugar that works for this recipe. Any other sugar will leave the frosting with a gritty mouthfeel.
- Vanilla: I highly recommend using a good quality pure vanilla extract.
- Salt: This is completely optional! I find that a little extra salt helps balance the extreme sweetness that comes from using so much powdered sugar. Taste your frosting before you add it and only add a little at a time until you’re happy with the results.
The concept is the same as making a buttercream. You want to start with softened butter and cream cheese but the butter shouldn’t be so soft that it looks oily. 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop seems to be the sweet spot for softening butter.
Whip the butter and cream cheese together until it’s completely smooth creamy. This can take up to 5 minutes depending on your mixer.
Then I just add all of the remaining ingredients at once – the sugar, salt, and vanilla – and beat it until is completely mixed in and smooth. Alternatively, you can add the sugar in two additions to make it easier to fully incorporate without making a huge mess.
The frosting is very soft and supple but it does hold its shape well when pipped. If the frosting seems too soft, you can pop in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes then whip it a bit more. The cold temperature will help stiffen it some.
But, do try to avoid adding more confectioners’ sugar. The cream cheese makes the frosting creamier and it will take quite a bit of confectioners’ sugar to get a stiff frosting. The excess sugar may be too sweet to handle.
You can make cream cheese frosting up to a week in advance. Just store it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated.
How To Make Carrot Cake From Scratch
The Cake Batter – The batter is super simple to prepare. All you need is a whisk and a large mixing bowl.
Prepare The Cake Pans
- Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or any size shape). Then, line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- The parchment paper will ensure the cake doesn’t stick to the pan.
Make The Batter
- Use a whisk to stir brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla together.
- Stir in finely shredded carrots and raisins.
- Then sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves into the batter.
- Stir it until everything is just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make The Frosting:see above!
Frost The Cake
- Once the cake layers have cooled, place one of the layers on a serving platter and cover the top with frosting.
- Set the second layer over the top then cover the entire cake with frosting.
- Garnish if desired. If you like pecans or walnuts, coarsely chop about ½ cup. Then, press them into the sides of the carrot cake.
- Refrigerate. Refrigerate the assembled cake for 1 hour before slicing and serving. This will set the frosting and make the cake easier to slice neatly.
For The Cake
- 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup (165 g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
- ¼ cup (50 g) plain Greek yogurt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (384 g) finely shredded carrots
- ½ cup (72 g) raisins/walnuts, optional