This moist & delicious Carrot Cake is the perfect spiced treat for any season. It’s a classic that makes a great sweet finish to your meal or as a little afternoon pick me up.
I used to only think of carrot cake as a fall dessert, for some reason, until I had it as a dessert with a spring meal. I realized how light and moist it is and how much I missed those flavors.
The combination of spices in carrot cake always read Christmasy, with the cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. All spices that give it a fall feel. It has us dreaming of Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.
While this is a great cake for those cool fall nights, it’s really fantastic year round.
How to Make Carrot Cake
To make this carrot cake, first preheat your oven and prepare your cake pans.
I make this in two 9” rounds, which is what this recipe calls for. If you want to make it in a 9×13” pan, for a single layer, keep in mind that the baking time may differ slightly, so keep your eye on it.
Did you know that the type of bakeware you use can have a big impact on the cooking speed and moistness of your cake? Check out this guide to finding the best bakeware sets, so your cake always turns out perfect.
To prepare the pans, just lightly grease and flour them, so there’s no sticking, which can really ruin a beautiful carrot cake.
Sift together the dry ingredients and set them aside. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and the sugar and mix well before adding the dry ingredients. Make sure that when adding the dry ingredients that the flour-mixture is fully incorporated into the batter.
Add in the shredded carrots and 3/4 cup of the walnuts and mix them into the batter.
Once that’s done, you can pour the mixture into the greased and floured pans and bake for 45 minutes. You can use the toothpick method to test the middle of the cake. Just poke a toothpick into the center and when it comes out clean the cake is done.
Let the cake sit until it’s cool to the touch. That’s when it’s okay to take the cakes out of the pans and frost them.
How to Frost a Carrot Cake
I use cream cheese frosting to ice my carrot cake. That’s the most accepted frosting for this cake. The tart flavor of the cream cheese goes unbelievably well with the spices in the cake.
Here’s our recipe for cream cheese frosting. It turns out really light and fluffe. Mix up a batch and prepare to frost!
Some carrot cakes are built up into 3 or 4 layers with frosting between each. I like to make just a two-layer cake.
Set one layer of the cake on a cake plate. Add a thick layer of cream cheese frosting to the top of the cake. Now set the second cake layer on top and press gently to make sure the two are well stuck together.
Frost the entire cake as one, making sure to smooth the frosting all around, so you can no longer see the layers. I like to add a nice smooth layer, then go back with extra frosting and make peaks all around for texture.
You can sprinkle the extra walnuts on top for garnish.
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Perfectly Moist & Delicious Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 cups cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Combine eggs, sugar, apple sauce, oil, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Mix together well. Add flour mixture and stir to fully combine. Add the carrots and ¾ cup walnuts to the batter and fold it in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick to test if the center is done. When the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
- Allow to cool. Remove the cakes from the pans. Top one cake with cream cheese frosting, then place the second cake on top. Coat the whole cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with remaining chopped walnuts.
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Jillian Morris is the resident baker for A Food Lover’s Kitchen. She started baking when she was very little and found she had a great passion for it. She is a high-schooler in a small town in Oregon, where she enjoys music, writing, and baking in her spare time.