I am well aware that I should have had this recipe for Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting locked and loaded before Easter. But honestly, this quarantine thing had me in quite the funk. Guess what got me out of this funk? Making this scrumptious cake. Irony.
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So Scrumptious! And Even Better the Second Day!
This beautiful carrot cake is a classic recipe in many respects. It has the usual: flour, eggs, sugar, shredded carrots, cinnamon and walnuts, but it also has a couple of unexpected ingredients: rich creamy buttermilk, grass fed butter, dried nutmeg, vanilla paste, sweet cranberries and a subtle hint of ginger. I am a huge fan of buttermilk in a cake. Not only does it add body to the cake but gives it a little bit of tangy flavor. And while I know many other bakers use vegetable oil, butter is my go to. You just can’t go wrong with butter. And while this cake is fabulous anytime, it’s even better the second day…if you can wait that long.
That Cream Cheese Frosting Though…
Not to overstate the butter thing, but when combined with cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla paste, it’s about the best thing ever. Check out this gooey goodness between layers of moist, nutty cake. Oh! And by the way, you can make this cake two layers or three. If you make a double layer you’ll need to use two 9 inch non stick cake pans, to make it triple layer you’ll need three 8″ non stick cake tins.
TO MAKE THIS CAKE GLUTEN FREE BUT JUST AS GOOD:
Gluten free followers, I have a wonderful suggestion to make this cake gluten free but just as good: Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour is fantastic and the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion! Many stores carry Jovial Baking Flours now, but you can also order online.
Need More Cake Recipes?
The Recipe: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!
What you need: You can make this cake two layers, or three. If you make a double layer you’ll need to use two 9 inch non stick cake pans, to make it triple layer you’ll need three 8″ non stick cake tins. I love my mini KitchenAid Mixer. Vanilla extract can be used in this recipe but I always prefer Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste!
A classic carrot cake with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
- 2 cups cake flour, all purpose flour or gluten free flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, room temp
- 4 eggs room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/2 teaspoon extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste of extract
Place oven rack in center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a paper towel to wipe bottom and sides of non stick pan with butter. Coat with flour and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, set aside.
Place sugars and butter in mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mix well. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk until well incorporated. Add vanilla, mix well.
Add grated carrots, mix until well combined. Add cranberries and 1/2 cup walnuts (reserving the rest for the top of cake) Mix very well
Pour equal amounts of batter into pans, tap on counter to remove any bubbles. If using 3-8" pans bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using 2-9" pans bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven and allow to completely cool. Very carefully remove one cake from pan, (these cakes are fairly fragile) Place first layer upside down in center of a cake plate, spread with cream cheese frosting, add second layer (again, upside down) frost, add third layer, frost, then frost sides. Sprinkle top of cake with reserved walnuts.
Mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Mix until smooth. If needed, add second tablespoon of buttermilk.
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