The Best Carrot Cake Ever

Sunday, September 29, 2013

All the leaves are turning vibrant shades or red, yellow and orange and we are getting ready for fall.  Luckily for me this is time when the folks come for a visit.  Dad has a serious sugar addiction, so I try to provide him with the best sweet treats possible.  With the fall season in mind I went in search of the best carrot cake recipe.  For those of you new to the blog I'm a firm believer that foods should be natural and not processed.  All my recipes will be from scratch.  This means a little more time in the kitchen, but you'll find it worth it when you see the bright smiles on the mouths you feed.  

I found this recipe at Tastes Better From Scratch. 

I'll be honest with you.  Shredding the carrot was far from my favorite thing to do with my time.  However, it's a great workout for your arms.  Other than that I enjoyed getting this cake together.  I'm not the best at icing a cake.  Since I wanted this cake to feel traditional I didn't worry too much about the finished appearance.  Looking homemade can be just as important as being homemade.  At least that's what I tell myself.  Follow this recipe and you'll have a deliciously moist cake that everyone will enjoy.

Note* I substituted Cake Flour for the AP Flour (1cup AP Flour = 1cup 2tbsp Cake Flour)  The batter can feel runny when pouring into your cake pans.  Don't worry it rises beautifully.

Ingredients:For the cake:

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar 
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk

4 large eggs, at room temperature 
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb. finely grated carrots (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup golden raisins (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two (or three, for three skinny layers) 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with cooking spray and lining with parchment paper. 
Beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl. 
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.  Fold in the carrots, pecans and raisins just until evenly distributed throughout the batter. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean:
About 30-40 minutes for two 9'' cake pans or 25-30 minutes for three 9'' cake pans

Cool cakes in their pans for at least 15 minutes before removing them.  Then, remove them from the pans and peel off the parchment paper. Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before frosting and assembling them. 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add vanilla and beat. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the consistency you desire.  You may not need to add all of the sugar.

To assemble the cake:
Place the bottom layer on a cardboard round, cake platter or other serving service. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the cream cheese frosting onto the bottom cake layer.  Spread the frosting thinly and evenly over the surface.  Carefully place the second layer on top.  Scoop another 1/2 cup of the frosting on the top of the second cake layer and spread evenly over the surface. Carefully place the final layer on top.  Scoop the rest of the frosting onto the top of the cake. Carefully spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides of the cake.  Spread around the sides of the cake, adding more as needed.  Place chopped pecans along sides of cake if desired. 
Once completely frosted, chill the cake to help it firm up before slicing.

For more great recipes check out Tastes Better From Scratch Blog


  1. I couldn't decide on a coconut cream cake, italian cream cake, hummingbird cake or carrot cake for my birthday this year. Since my daughter-in-law and I celebrate our birthdays just 4-days apart, I asked her what she'd like and she picked the carrot cake! I picked this one to make and am so glad I did! We enjoyed it for our shared birthday dessert on Saturday night and then since I was out of town on Monday. I had my husband take the 'leftovers' to his morning coffee/gossip group. It was a hit there, too! Thanks again for sharing!


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