There are some of my all-time favorite recipes that I can’t believe I haven’t posted yet, and my carrot cake is one of them (chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, and sticky buns are a few more!). But I will be posting all of them in the very near future!
Well, here it is friends. I am going to share my favorite, best-loved, all-time go to carrot cake recipe! I always say that the secret ingredient is “love” in all my cooking and baked goods, but the secret in this recipe is a little bit of unsweetened applesauce added to the wet ingredients (love is in there too!). Applesauce adds to the moistness of this cake without making it heavy or oily.
Some people like things like walnuts or pecans, pineapple, coconut or raisins in their carrot cake. That’s all fine and good, but I have always kept it plain (for a lack of a better word, because my recipe doesn’t have any of those things, but it is anything but plain!).
Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial and you will have a delicious cake that will have your friends and family oohing and ahhhing. It is my favorite, and it will be yours too!!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil (220 grams)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (122 grams)
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (340 grams)- You can use light or dark
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (100 grams)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrots (330 grams)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8″ or 9″ pans with shortening and flour. Line with non-stick parchment paper and set aside. *Update – 3-6″ pans can also be used (2 cups of batter per pan)
Grate carrots on a box or handheld grater. Measure 330 grams into a bowl and set aside.
Add dry ingredients (first six ingredients in recipe) together in medium sized bowl and set aside while you’re putting the wet ingredients (next six ingredients) together in another bowl. Whisk together until fully incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the carrots until fully incorporated. Divide evenly between to two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick and remove from oven when it comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely before applying the cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened to room temperature (226 grams)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter and beat on medium high for 2 minutes.
With mixer on low speed, add extract and salt. Mix to incorporate, scrape paddle and bowl as needed.
Add the confectioners’ sugar (with mixer on low speed) until incorporated. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar if mixture is too runny and some milk or heavy cream if it’s too thick. Frosting should be a nice spreadable consistency.
Frost cake and serve! Enjoy!!
I hope you make this carrot cake. If you do, I know you are going to love it too!! Please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to see your pictures!