This delicious carrot cake recipe is almost too easy to believe and sweet Peter Rabbit is it tasty! The batter has toasted almonds, shredded carrot (of course), just the right amount of spice, and fresh coconut flakes! The cake is very moist but not at all oily! Covered in cream cheese frosting and covered in even more toasted almonds for a simple crunch.

And trust me when I say, this truly is the best carrot cake recipe!  It’s perfectly moist and delicious, made with lots of fresh carrots, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting. Which is why it is my go to all year round cake recipe.

I don’t mind sharing that secret with you. Because if you happen to be looking for the world’s best carrot cake recipe to make this Easter, or this weekend — or any day of the year — look no further.

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

CARROT CAKE 4-1-1

HOW SHOULD I STORE THIS CAKE?

It’s not best to leave your cake out since the frosting is full of dairy so store in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temp before serving for best results. You’ll probably have some left over cream cheese frosting after smoothing so use that to cover the exposed interior after cutting the cake. This will keep you cake nice and moist throughout.

HOW LONG DOES CARROT CAKE KEEP FOR?

This carrot cake will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator. You can freeze the unfrosted layers for up to two months if wrapped well.

CAN I MAKE THIS AS A SHEET CAKE? 

Yes! This recipe makes a delicious 1/4 sheet cake, which is 9×13 inches.  Bake at 350F for about 55 minutes or until the center is springy to the touch. 

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

TIPS FOR A SIMPLE CARROT CAKE?

  1. The nuts can be omitted. I love the crunch and depth of flavor they add though. Walnuts can be subbed in for the pecans.
  2. Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  3. You can make this recipe as cupcakes or as a sheet cake.
  4. If your frosting is runny then add more powdered sugar a cup at a time until the consistency thickens up. You can also chill the frosting slightly so it firms up. 

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients. As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch. Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

Bake Immediately

Bake your desserts immediately after mixing the batter. Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser bake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in the oven on your dessert’s progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the bakes from rising. Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the bake while it is trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated bake. Try to resist the urge to peek until your bakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Baked Treats are Done

Test your bakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center. Your bakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter. You can also gently press down on the bake and, if it bounces back leaving no dent, then it is done. If removed too early, the bake will sink in the center as it cools and, if over baked, it will be dry.

SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT CARROT CAKE

WHAT MAKES THE CAKE MOIST AND FLUFFY?

  • Adding the right amount of fat gives chocolate cake a moist crumb. Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent; too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.
  • Another way to get a moist and fluffy crumb? Creaming the butter and sugar coupled with whipping egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage then folding them into the batter.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A CARROT CAKE MOIST FROM SCRATCH? 

Don’t over bake your layers! Watch the batter and remove from oven when the centers spring back when pressed lightly and the edge starts pulling away from the pan.

Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!

Cake Troubleshooting

Why are the Baking Pans Sticking to the Cake?

While spring form pans make it easy to get the cakes out of the pan with minimal cleanup, they can sometimes stick to the cake. A high sugar content recipe can cause the batter to caramelize against the baking pan, and a lower fat recipe tends to stick more than a batter higher in fat.

If you notice your cakes are sticking to the baking pans, try placing a deep baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. This added moisture my help prevent sticking.  A cake is also more likely to stick to the baking pan if it has not cooled completely before trying to unwrap it.

How to Store Cakes

Cakes are at their best within the first 2 days of baking. While they can last up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container, they will start to dry out after 3-4 days.

Be sure to let the cakes cool completely. Packing un-iced cakes while still warm can create sticky tops, making it more difficult to get the icing to stick when you are ready to frost them.

Choose an airtight container that is tall enough, so the container lid doesn’t touch the icing. Typically, the container can be left out at room temperature; however, if you are experiencing hot and humid weather that is causing the icing to melt or if the cakes are filled or decorated with something that requires refrigeration (like lemon curd or a meringue buttercream), you can store them in the refrigerator. If you must refrigerate your cakes, bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Freezing Baked Cakes

Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure the cakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing to avoid condensation forming, which can result in soggy cakes when it’s time to defrost them.

While simply placing the cakes in an airtight container is enough, individually wrapping each cake before placing them in the airtight container will better help preserve the freshness and taste. After removing them from the freezer, let them defrost uncovered to prevent the tops from getting sticky.

What I Use To Make Cakes

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Yield: classic
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/4 cups vegetable oil, coconut oil, or applesauce
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 cups chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat your cake pans with shortening and give a light dusting of flour. This carrot cake is also very moist and delicate so I would highly recommend laying down parchment paper on the bottom of your cake pans to prevent sticking.

Carrot Cake

  1. In a large bowl combine your vegetable oil, white sugar, and eggs. If you would like extra coconut flavor, swap out the vegetable oil for coconut oil. If you would like to give your carrot cake a nice touch of Autumn, swap out the oil for applesauce.
  2. With your hand mixer on a medium speed, begin to beat these three ingredients together until fully combined and light in color. Set aside.
  3. Using a medium sized bowl, add in your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Give your dry ingredients a quick whisk.
  4. Add your dry ingredient mix to your wet mixture and begin to combine on a low speed with your hand mixer for about a minute or two until your carrot cake batter is smooth and just combined.
  5. Begin adding in your shredded carrots, coconut flakes, 2 cups chopped walnuts, vanilla extract, and crushed pineapple.
  6. Now you can either fold these ingredients in until fully incorporated or use your hand mixer, on a medium low speed and mix in for no more than a minute.
  7. Pour carrot cake batter into your prepared cake pans. This recipe is enough cake batter for 2 6" round cake pans.
  8. Bake in the oven for 45 - 50 minutes or until you cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Once baked, cool your cakes in the cake pans for 15 minutes before inverting out and cooling completely. Again, these are moist and delicate cakes so be sure to be gentle.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, whip your cream cheese on a high speed with your hand mixer and continue to beat until combined and smooth.
  2. Blend in vanilla and salt.
  3. Switching your hand mixer to a low speed, mix in your sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  4. Once all your powdered sugar has been added, give a quick whip on a high speed for no more than 30 seconds.

Assembly / Decorating

  1. Once your cakes have cooled, level and half each cake.
  2. Place the first cake layer on your cake turntable.
  3. Fill this first layer with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.
  4. Give a hearty sprinkle of crushed walnuts and top with your next layer of cake. You will continue this step until you have all of your desired layers. If you're following this recipe step by step, you'll have 4 delicious carrot cake layers.
  5. Starting from the bottom, and while rotating your cake turntable, pipe on cream cheese frosting in an upward motion.
  6. Using a cake frosting scraper, straight spatula, or offset spatula you will want to smooth your cream cheese frosting. The best way is to hold your smoothing tool upright and gently pressed against your cake while rotating your cake turntable.
  7. Smooth the cream cheese frosting on the top of your cake with an offset spatula.
  8. Set in fridge and allow to chill and set for 5 minutes.
  9. After your cake has set, pull from the fridge and with your hand, scoop walnut crumbs around the carrot cake until it’s completely covered. You can also omit the crushed walnuts here and cover with shredded coconut or a nice blend of both.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (for majority of baking pans), & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • The nuts can be omitted. I love the crunch and depth of flavor they add though. Walnuts can be subbed in for the pecans.
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don't have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • You can make this recipe as cupcakes or as a sheet cake.
  • If your frosting is runny then add more powdered sugar a cup at a time until the consistency thickens up. You can also chill the frosting slightly so it firms up. 

Be sure to subscribe & ring the bell on the MANCAKE baking channel for weekly recipes & tutorials this way you can bake right along with me. Click – MANCAKE YouTube Channel

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More Cake Theme Tutorials👉 https://bit.ly/2NN3s39Let’s have a Llama Party! I had so much fun working with fondant though more practice will definitely be needed😅 Also been enjoying learning new techniques to share with everyone here so keep sending those comments over on the MANCAKE channel with what you'd like to see make next. I'll see you all very soon with another yummy tutorial so be sure to ring the bell when you subscribe 👉 https://bit.ly/30otZW3

Posted by Man Cake on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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