This classic Carrot Cake is the perfect, simple cake to serve for spring celebrations!
If you’ve been thinking about a cake to bake this weekend– for Easter (or just because you want to bake a cake), here is one to consider. This carrot cake is a single layer cake. There are no fancy layers to this cake, so it might feel a little more approachable to bake than other homemade cake recipes that are out there. It’s an easy carrot cake recipe!
How to make Carrot Cake:
Be sure to scroll to the end of this post to print out the complete recipe so you can make this cake at home.
The first step in the recipe is to grate the carrots and put them in a bowl. Next, you’ll add the dry ingredients to the carrots and toss them together. Then you’ll mix the wet ingredients with the carrot mixture to create the batter for the cake. The batter is then scraped into the cake pan and baked.
Supplies helpful for making this cake:
- box grater: I use this for grating carrots and cheese. It’s great to have all of the different size grating options on the box grater.
- 9-inch round pan with 3-inch tall sides: you need a deeper cake pan for this recipe since it bakes taller than a usual 9-inch cake.
- OR a 9-inch springform pan: this can be used if you don’t have a deep cake pan.
- 9-inch round parchment paper: you don’t NEED this (because you can cut your own parchment), but it does make things more convenient.
- kitchen scale: SO helpful for measuring accurately when baking.
Alton Brown’s recommendations for this cake:
This carrot cake is Alton Brown’s original recipe. Alton Brown is a bit of a food scientist. He likes to measure things by weight when baking, and his recommendation for baking the perfect carrot cake is to use a scale to measure instead of measuring by cups. If you have a kitchen scale, use it for this recipe. If you don’t have a scale, it’s okay to measure things out. I’ve baked it both ways with success.
The texture of this carrot cake:
This cake is more dense than your usual two layer cake recipe. It’s not a light and fluffy cake! Some have described it as more of a muffin-like texture than cake… but then again, I think muffins are a lot like cake, so go figure. It’s not meant to be two layers because it’s a heavier cake.
A simple cream cheese frosting tops this cake. You can frost just the top of the cake (as shown), or you can spread it down the sides too. Garnish the edges with chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired. Enjoy!
Here are a few more cake recipes you might like to try:
- Lemon Sour Cream Cake
- Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Fresh Orange Layer Cake
- Easy Sponge Cake
- Spice Cake
- Milky Way Cake
- Mocha Fudge Cake
- Kahlua Cake
- 12 ounces (about 6 medium) grated carrots,
- 2½ cup (12 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/3 cups (10 ounces) granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) vegetable oil
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups sifted powdered sugar
PREPARE THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round, 3-inch deep cake pan (or a 9-inch springform pan) with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Put the grated carrots into a large mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices for 5 seconds. If you don't have a processor, whisk these ingredients together very well instead. Add the flour mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with flour.
- In the bowl of the food processor, combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs and yogurt. While the processor is running, drizzle in the oil. (Again, if you don't have a food processor, use a hand mixer instead... adding oil slowly while mixing). Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir just until combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F. in the center. Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely.
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the butter and beat with a hand mixer on medium-speed just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating until smooth between each addition. Use your own judgment on whether or not you need the entire 2½ cups (preference on consistency). If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the frosting to the cake. Spread on a thick layer on top of the cake or frost the top and the sides if you prefer.
- *This recipe comes from Alton Brown. He highly recommends that you WEIGH the ingredients indicated with weight measurements, rather than measure. (for best results).
- *A 3-inch deep (9-inch-round) cake pan is a must. This cake rises quite a bit to make a wonderfully tall 9-inch cake. Alternatively, a 9-inch springform pan works too.
- *It's important to line the cake pan with parchment paper- it will make the cake come out of the pan easily, with no chunks left behind.
- *I highly recommend bake even cake strips- simply wrap them around the cake pan and they allow your cake to rise e-v-e-n-l-y!
- *You can bake the cake one day, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and then frost it the next day. It should stay nice and moist.