Annika Eats

Carrot Sheet Pan Cake

A classic easter recipe has to be carrot cake and a smooth cream cheese frosting. This cake is simple to make and bakes well in a sheet pan making enough to feed a crowd. 

With Easter not to far away we are in the official business of carrots, bunnies, eggs and chocolate. My Carrot Sheet Pan Cake is a crowd pleasure but don’t be fooled as you can make this recipe any time of the year. There are some important points to keep in mind when you make this cake and especially when you make the frosting as we don’t want a drippy cream cheese frosting. We want a lusciously smooth and velvet like frosting. 

I have shared two other carrot cake recipes and you can check them out here, the Carrot Coconut Cake and the Carrot Orange and caramel loaf. Today’s recipe is a classic and I must mention, I personally do not like using raisins in my carrot cake. Sometimes I do add walnuts but today we are keeping it pure carrot goodness with freshly grated carrots and no add ons. There is a little fun element in decorating the cake to enhance the carrot cook and overall appearance, we i’ll discuss that below. There are 3 parts to this recipe: 1. The carrot cake 2. The cream cheese frosting and 3. The Garnish/Assembly. 

How to make the Carrot Cake?

To make the carrot cake I used an electric beater but you can use a planetary mixer as well. We start by beating the butter and sugar until it is creamy and combined. We then add the eggs and beat again. I drizzle in the oil and beat until it is smooth. We then add all our dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon powder, vanilla, baking soda, salt) and the freshly grated carrot. Now using a spatula we fold this together and ensure there are no dry/flour pockets between the batter. Transfer the batter to a prepared 9×13 baking tin that is lined with oil and baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 28-20 mins until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before transferring to a serving plate (you don’t have to serve the cake in a plate, most sheet pan cakes are served in the pan itself). 

How to make the Cream Cheese Frosting?

Now I am going to share my version of the best cream cheese frosting. Firstly, if you live in a hot country like the UAE for example, ensure your butter is at room temperature but the cream cheese should be fridge cold. This is the opposite of most recipes as the heat from the atmosphere starts to melt your cream cheese immediately. Hence you must ensure the temperature is balanced while beating the frosting together. If you live in a moderate climate them the cream cheese can be at room temperature as well. We start by beating the butter until pale and creamy. Then add the cream cheese and beat again until combined. Add the icing sugar in 3 parts to avoid over beating and the sugar going everywhere. Make sure it is sifted to avoid any lumps in the frosting. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use. 

How to make the Garnish for the carrot cake?

I cut slices of a raw carrot, and from the outer slices I cut tiny pieces to micmic the shape of a carrot. These pieces are blanched in hot water and salt. I drain the water and set them aside. I also snip tiny pieces of Dill to give the carrots their green top. I toast and chop some walnuts for the side of the cake and I am ready to assemble.

We start by spreading the frosting over the cake in a rustic way. We portion the cake into 16 squares and cover the borders of the cake with the toasted and chopped walnuts. In each square we gently place our tiny blanched carrot and the green Dill topper. Serve with some coffee or tea. 

What substitutes can you use to make this Carrot Sheet Pan Cake?

Oil – 

I use olive oil but you can use any oil you like. Coconut oil adds a lovely floral flavor to the cake. 

Flour –

I used all purpose flour here, self raising flour works well, you can use cake flour, gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill) you can also use a mixture of spelt and all purpose flour. 

Eggless –

This cake can be make eggless with 50gm of yogurt in place of the eggs. 

Walnuts – 

You can use any nuts you prefer, almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts work well. 

Butter –

You can use salted or unsalted but if you are using salted make sure to avoid the salt in the batter. 

What equipment can you use to make the Carrot Sheet Pan Cake?

Ive used an electric beater but you can use a planetary mixer or a whisk but this option will make you a little tired. We need a spatula to fold the ingredients together and a 9×13 inch tin to bake the cake. I also use baking paper to line the tin. 

How to store the Carrot Sheet Pan Cake?

I have stored this cake in an airtight container for 5 days in my fridge. The frosting does get a little crusty on the top but it tastes delicious. The texture of thecae doest dry out. 

Now that we have covered how make all the elements for this recipe, let us get to it. Happy baking ninjas!

Carrot Sheet Pan Cake

A classic easter recipe has to be carrot cake and a smooth cream cheese frosting. This cake is simple to make and bakes well in a sheet pan making enough to feed a crowd.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Course Dessert, Sweet tooth, Cake, tea time, Party, High Tea
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Squares

Equipment

  • Electric beater
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spatula
  • 9x13 Baking tin
  • Baking paper
  • Grater

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake

  • 115 gm butter
  • 120 gm brown sugar
  • 100 gm white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 60 ml Oil
  • 200 gm flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 250 gm carrots grated

Cream cheese frosting

  • 85 gm butter
  • 135 gm cream cheese
  • 615 gm icing sugar

Garnish

  • Walnuts toasted and chopped
  • Carrots
  • Dill

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line a 9x13 inch pan with oil and baking paper.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy with an electric beater. We then add the eggs and beat again. Drizzle in the oil and beat until it is smooth.
  • We then add all our dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon powder, vanilla, baking soda, salt) and the freshly grated carrot. Now using a spatula we fold this together and ensure there are no dry/flour pockets between the batter. But do not over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to a prepared and bake for 28-30 mins until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before transferring to a serving plate (you don’t have to serve the cake in a plate, most sheet pan cakes are served in the pan itself).

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Read the note above about the cream cheese temperature before you start.
  • In a large mixing bowl we start by beating the butter until pale and creamy. Then add the cream cheese and beat again until combined and fluffy.
  • Add the icing sugar in 3 parts to avoid over the sugar going everywhere. Make sure it is sifted to avoid any lumps in the frosting. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Garnish & Assembly: (garnish is optional)

  • I cut slices of a raw carrot, and from the outer slices I cut tiny pieces to micmic the shape of a carrot. These pieces are blanched in hot water and salt. I drain the water and set them aside. I also snip tiny pieces of Dill to give the carrots their green top. I toast and chop some walnuts for the side of the cake.
  • We start by spreading the frosting over the cake in a rustic way. Portion the cake into 16 squares and cover the borders of the cake with the toasted and chopped walnuts. In each square we gently place our tiny blanched carrot and the green Dill topper.
  • Serve with some coffee or tea.

Notes

  • Do not over mix the cake batter once the carrots and dry ingredients have been added into the mixture.
  • You can use finely shredded carrot, coarsely grated carrot or even carrot puree to make this cake.
  • Check the note above about the temperature for your cream cheese, for the frosting recipe.
  • Garnish as you wish, the above mentioned recipe is optional.

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