I’m a bit late in posting this recipe for carrot cake. I’ve got so much going on with the holidays, birthdays (my sons birthday is today), work, and family, but carrot cake doesn’t have to be just for Easter, right? I think this next recipe can be made for any, or no particular reason. It can be turned into muffins, cupcakes, or mini loaves too. How about a carrot cake cookie? Hmm–I’ve got to try that one next!
Carrot cake is great every season if you ask me. This next recipe is full of carrots, pecans and walnuts. Moist and chewy crumb with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting–yes!
I made this cake with four 6” inch round baking pans. You’d be surprised at the amount of slices that can come out of these 6” inch pans–easily 8 to 10 slices. As for the decorating, I got the whole family involved in the process. It was so much fun!
I used Wilton brand baking pans for this recipe. Their brand always comes through for me. The cakes never stick, and the pans are super easy to clean afterwards. I used to make 8” inch round cakes, but ever since I found these 6” inch pans, I’m hooked. I cut my own cake round liners out of parchment paper, and used sky blue and violet gel food coloring from Chefmaster to color the cream cheese frosting. The festive sprinkles are from Walmart because I find that they always have the best sprinkles for the price!
There are so many carrot cake recipes out there but trust me this one will have you doing the bunny hop! Let’s eat.
Here is the recipe:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes (about 15-20 minutes for cupcakes)
- 2 cups of carrots, shredded
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cup of canola oil
- 3 cups of All purpose flour
- ½ cup of unsalted butter, room temperature (8 Tbsp)
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 1 Tbsp of baking soda
- 2 tsp of molasses
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
- 2 tsp of Kosher salt
- 1 cup of pecans, toasted
- 1 cup of walnuts, toasted
- 8 oz. of cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp of sour cream
- 2 cups of confectioners sugar
- ½ cup of whole milk
- Festive holiday sprinkles
- Chocolate Easter M&M eggs
- Gel food coloring (in sky blue and violet, or use your favorite colors)
Directions for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Line the baking pans with parchment paper baking rounds and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Now in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, eggs, canola oil, whole milk and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, about half of the flour mixture first. Mix for 30 seconds, or until fully combined.
- Then add the shredded carrots, chopped pecans, and chopped walnuts. Follow by adding the remaining half of your flour mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the cake batter evenly into the baking pans.
- Evenly space the baking pans, setting them on the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the baking pans 180 degrees for even baking.
- Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Take the baking pans out of the oven and allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pans.
- Set the cakes on a cooling rack before icing to make sure they are completely cooled.
Directions for the cream cheese frosting:
- Use a large bowl and a handheld mixer (or an electric mixer with paddle attachment) to mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth. This step will take 1-2 minutes.
- Now add the brown sugar and mix for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the molasses, confectioner’s sugar, Kosher salt, and sour cream. The brown sugar will take a few minutes to dissolve, so make sure you beat all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Take out half of the frosting onto a bowl and add a drop or two of your favorite color gel food color and fold until you’ve reached the desired color.
- Add the second gel food color color to the other half of the icing and fold until you’ve reached the desired color.
- Place a smear of icing on the bottom of your cake stand or tray to make sure it does not slide around when frosting. Place the first cake layer over it.
- Now pick your favorite color for the inside, and spread a layer of icing. Leave about a ¼ “ border around the circumference of the layer. Otherwise, the icing will bleed into the outer layer of icing and muddle the colors.
- Follow step 2 for each layer.
- Starting from the bottom up, use any color your like to frost your cake with an icing spatula. Go about 1/3 to half of the way up your cake. Use a plain cake scraper to smooth it out.
- Finally add the second color just above the first color and spread it out with the spatula. Use the cake scraper to gently bleed the colors into each other, creating a gradient effect.
- Decorate with the sprinkles and chocolate eggs. Be creative! Enjoy!