This Classic Carrot Cake is a heavenly delight, perfect for those who appreciate a harmonious blend of spices and sweetness. Each bite is a journey through moist, dense cake laced with grated carrots and crunchy pecans, crowned with a velvety cream cheese frosting that melts in your mouth.
Not only is this cake a treat for your taste buds, but it’s also a joy to bake. The aroma of cinnamon and vanilla fills your kitchen, turning baking into a therapeutic experience. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a homemade treat, this Classic Carrot Cake promises to be the centerpiece of your table.
Table of contents
Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan by lightly greasing it and then dusting with flour to prevent sticking.
- In a spacious bowl, use an electric mixer to thoroughly blend together the white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. The goal is to achieve a uniform and smooth mixture.
- Gradually add in the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the wet ingredients. Continue mixing until everything is just combined.
- Gently fold in the freshly grated carrots, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Next, add the chopped pecans for that extra crunch and texture.
- Carefully pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
- Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean without any wet batter.
- Once baked, allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Afterward, carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To create the cream cheese frosting, beat together softened butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use your electric mixer to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. Finally, fold in the chopped pecans.
- When the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top, creating a luscious layer of creamy sweetness to complement the spiced carrot cake.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 50 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Kcal: 540 kcal/serving | Servings: 12 servings
Carrot Cake Recipe FAQS
How long will a carrot cake last?
A carrot cake can last for up to one week when stored properly. To ensure it stays fresh, keep it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. If you’ve already frosted the cake, it’s especially important to refrigerate it because of the cream cheese frosting, which requires refrigeration.
How do you know when carrot cake is done?
To check if a carrot cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs (but no wet batter), the cake is done. Another sign is when the edges of the cake start to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Also, the cake should feel firm to the touch and spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Why does my carrot cake not rise?
There could be a few reasons why your carrot cake isn’t rising as expected. The most common cause is expired or ineffective leavening agents, like baking powder or baking soda. Always ensure they are fresh and active. Overmixing the batter can also lead to a dense cake, as it develops the gluten too much. Additionally, make sure your oven is properly preheated and the cake is baked at the correct temperature.
How do you keep carrot cake moist after baking?
To keep a carrot cake moist after baking, cool it completely before covering or storing. Wrapping the cake in plastic wrap or storing it in an airtight container helps retain its moisture. If you’ve cut into the cake, placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on the cut side can also help. Ingredients like oil, brown sugar, or applesauce in the recipe contribute to a moist cake. Lastly, avoid overbaking, as this can dry out the cake.