I created this Carrot Cake for Easter dinner this year as a last minute dessert. To say that it was a hit would be an understatement! Charles said it was the best cake he’s ever had…. I’ll take it! Here’s my easy, no fuss version of a Classic Carrot Cake.
I love a good carrot cake… I mean, what’s there not to love? Moist and lightly spiced with a hit of veggies for good measure to ease your conscience about eating cake (lol). So basically, it’s perfect. Just ask Max.
I think that one of the best things about this cake is that it is so so easy to whip up! Once your carrots and apples are grated the rest is smooth sailing. All you need to do is mix the wet and dry ingredients together, pour it into the pan and bake. I suggest grating your carrots on the finer side of the box grater for the best texture, but if you don’t have that size of grater no sweat, the regular grate will work well!
I made this cake into a tiered cake by baking the cake in two 6″ cake pans (I got mine at Michael’s) and cutting each of the layers in half cross ways before icing the cake. It was a petite but tall cake! You could also use two 9″ pans, but check for doneness a bit earlier as it will bake faster (and you won’t want to split the layers if you do it in 9″ pans).
How to Make a Cake into Muffins
This carrot cake also makes awesome muffins in case you were looking for a new recipe; in fact, almost any cake recipe can be made into muffins! I would use whole wheat flour (or part whole wheat) if you’re making this particular cake into muffins to make them a bit healthier: you could even get away with using 1/2 cup of sugar if you’re ok with a less sweet muffin.
The bake time will depend on the size of your muffin tins, but I typically will bake the muffins for around 18-20 minutes (at the same temperature as the cake, 350F in this case) or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre. The bake time always depends on the cake recipe (and size of muffins) so rely on your visual measure first (toothpick test etc).
How to Ice a Layer Cake
It’s important that you wait until the cake(s) are COMPLETELY cooled before icing; otherwise your icing will just melt into a puddle – not quite the same effect! I am not a huge fan of icing personally, so a little bit goes a long way for me. The decision to ice the cake, or not ice the cake… or just use a little bit of icing… is completely up to you of course! If you’re making it into a 4-layer cake like the one pictured (I used a 6″ cake pan) you may want to double the icing to make enough to place between each layer.
To split a cake into two layers simply take your cooled cake, place it on a flat surface, and, using a sharp bread knife, place it in the middle of the cake on the side and run it parallel to the counter as flat as possible, gently working your knife around the layer to cut it evenly in half. Gently tap any loose crumbs off of the layers before icing.
I use an off-set spatula to apply icing but a butter knife will work too in a pinch. You can either pipe a layer of icing on top of the cake before spreading it with the knife or simply spread it on each layer carefully using the knife (about 2 tablespoons at a time. If your knife or spatula sticks to the icing simply immerse it in hot water (a tall cup works) before spreading the icing.
I haven’t tried making this vegan or gluten free yet, but you could likely make it with flax eggs or an egg replacer (use 1 tablespoon of flax mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water to replace each egg. A 1:1 gluten free flour should work to make it gluten free. I haven’t tried either variation yet so I just can’t say for sure how it will turn out!
This is clearly a ‘sometimes food’ but completely worth a slice in my books! It freezes well should there be any leftovers. It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
Happy weekend and enjoy!
This moist and delicious carrot cake is a breeze to put together and is SO GOOD! You can bake it in a bundt pan or in two 6" or 9" pans to make a layer cake, but it also makes perfect muffins! Double the icing if you are making a layer cake.
- 2 cups finely grated carrots, peeled
- 1 cup grated apple, peeled
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2/3 cup oil (canola, vegetable, avocado or olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat or a mix)*
- 3/4 cup sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz. brick style cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2-2 cups icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 6" cake pans or a bundt pan.
In a large bowl mix together the grated carrot, grated apple, eggs, oil and vanilla.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice (if using) and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Don't overmix, but make sure that all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated. If you are adding nuts or raisins (see below) add them with the dry ingredients.
Spread the batter (using a rubber spatula) into your prepared pan(s) and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes (depending on the size of your pans), or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
For the Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Slowly add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, unti the desired consistency is reached (between 1 1/2-2 cups). Note that the icing will firm up in the refrigerator.
Note: you can stir in around 3/4 cup of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) or raisins into the batter with the dry ingredients if you want. To make these into muffins bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
*I like using 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour