Annika Eats

Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

A crumbly layered carrot cake sandwiched between a velvet like smooth cream cheese frosting  makes for a show stopping dessert and table center piece for the festive season. 

A good carrot cake is one where you taste carrot all through and through. There is so much carrot in that cake that the batter acts almost like a glue whose sole purpose is to bind that coarsely grated juicy carrot.  This recipe is the only Carrot Cake recipe you need in your books. You could whip it up in no time and it would make a great dessert, potluck dish or even a gift (I would be so happy to receive this home baked Carrot Cake as a gift).

I could give you many reasons why you need to make this cake but nothing compares to the main reason of it being mouth wateringly tasty. You’ve got to use fresh carrots for this one, canned carrot or frozen carrot won’t work here.  The carrots need to be grated coarsely, I mean you are not looking for juice or a puree you want to see the carrot shreds. It will break down while baking but believe me you will still see the carrot freckles through the loaf once you slice into it.

While making this recipe my mum asked me why we use brown sugar instead of regular white sugar (I don’t think she actually wanted to know the reason, rather she wanted to feel like she is part of the baking process without actually doing any of the work) and the answer is, the brown sugar adds a treacle like caramel intensity to the batter that brings out the flavors in every component from the humble carrot to the husky cinnamon spice. However, all I told her was, because I said so.

I owe this Ode of a recipe to her in many ways, she loves carrot cake and I have learned people who love certain things/dishes/aspects of life have a very refined taste and philosophy about that specific thing. In saying this she has had carrot cake in practically every café, restaurant, bakery, hotel, etc we’ve been to, making her my toughest critic, as I wanted this cake to be THE BEST she’s ever had.

I will not lie, she drove me up the wall with the slightest of slight critiques that would nag me in the back of my mind but I knew to claim this recipe to be THE BEST I had to vanish any nagging thought or feeling. So 128943983473098 tries later…this baby was born.

A few Substitutes:

NUTS – Use whatever nuts you have, I prefer the taste of walnuts.

EGGLESS – You could substitute ¼ cup yogurt per egg to make this an eggless cake.

VEGAN – 3 flaxseed eggs would just fine in this recipe and make for a very moist carrot cake.

LOW CARB/GLUTEN FREE – Almond flour could be used instead of regular flour for a low carb version.

REFINED SUGAR – Coconut sugar is delicious instead for brown sugar for a less refined sugar recipe.                                      

FROSTING – If you do not have cream cheese make a regular butter cream or just dust with a little icing sugar.

You need icing sugar for frosting, no other sugar will work in this case

The recipe itself is stupidly easy to make and works well in most baking trays/tins. Don’t be afraid to turn this layered cake into cupcakes (just bake them for 12-14 mins if doing so) or a loaf cake (bake for 35-38 mins). The addition of the frosting is just phenomenal making it better than any store bought carrot cake you could find.

Once the cake as been baked it can be stored in the fridge for upto 3 days, as long as you wrap it up with cling film and baking paper. After icing it, I wouldn’t recommend storing it beyond 3 days int he fridge. You can freeze the cake on its own without the frosting for upto 1 month.

Let us now make some cake. Happy Baking Ninjas!

Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

A crumbly layered carrot cake sandwiched between a velvet like smooth cream cheese frosting  makes for a show stopping dessert and table center piece for the festive season. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Decorating Time 10 mins
Course Dessert, Sweet tooth, Cake
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Sieve
  • Electric hand beater
  • Spatula
  • Baking tin (8x4 inches) - (or what you have but this will affect the cooking time. Larger the pan, lesser the cooking time and smaller the pan higher the cooking time)
  • Spoon/Offset palette knife to decorate

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 145 gm Flour
  • 160 gm Brown sugar
  • 85 gm Walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 2 nos Eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 150 ml Vegetable oil
  • 130 gm Carrot (grated)

Frosting

  • 85 gm Butter (room temperature)
  • 150 gm Cream cheese (cold)
  • 400 gm Icing sugar (sifted)
  • 20 ml Whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 170 Deg C and line a cake tin with oil and baking Paper. I used a two 6 inch round tins
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until it has gotten lighter in color and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the oil and vanilla whisk again until smooth.
  • Add all your dry ingredients and grated carrot into the batter and using a spatula fold the batter together until combined.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared baking tin and bake at 170 Deg C for 23-25 mins until risen, golden brown and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by beating the butter until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese and ensure there is no liquid in the cream cheese. Beat it until combined. Do not over beat it.
  • Add the icing sugar in 3 stages and beat until the sugar is incorporated. This will take 2 minutes or so. Keep scrapping down the sides of the bowl to ensure al the sugar is incorporated into the icing.
  • Once the cake is cooled dollop the top one layer with the cream cheese frosting, add the second layer of cake and dollop more frosting on top.
  • Using a slotted spatula, scraper or a butter knife spread the frosting onto the sides of the layered cake and leave to chill in the fridge for 10 mins. If you want a clean look you can frost the cake again. If you want a rustic look you can use the left over frosting for the top of the cake.
  • Garnish with walnuts and desiccated coconut.
  • Slice and serve with a cup of tea.

Notes

  • Substitutes:
    NUTS - Use whatever nuts you have, I prefer the taste of walnuts.
    EGGLESS - You could substitute ¼ cup yogurt per egg to make this an eggless cake.
    VEGAN – 3 flaxseed eggs would just fine in this recipe and make for a very moist carrot cake.
    LOW CARB/GLUTEN FREE - Almond flour could be used instead of regular flour for a low carb version.
    REFINED SUGAR - Coconut sugar is delicious instead for brown sugar for a less refined sugar recipe.
    FROSTING - If you do not have cream cheese make a regular butter cream or just dust with a little icing sugar.
    You need icing sugar for frosting, no other sugar will work in this case
  • To make this a loaf cake bake it in a 9x4 inch loaf tin for 35-38 mins.
  • To make these into cupcakes bake the batter for 12-14 mins in a cupcake tray. 

3 thoughts on “Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting”

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