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Carrot cake slice on a plate.

Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Duska

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Batter

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 sticks butter room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Optional Garnishes

  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • carrots
  • fresh herbs for carrot leaves dill, parsley or cilantro

Instructions

Carrot Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Lightly grease two 9" cake pans with oil and cover the bottom of the pans with parchment paper (optional). Add a handful of flour to the pans and rotate the pans to coat with flour to prevent sticking. Shake out excess flour.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 2 ½ cups flour, 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder and set aside.
  • In a medium sized batter bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar and 1 cup vegetable oil on high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir them together using a spatula until combined. Stir in the 3 cups of shredded carrots, ½ cup of raisins and ½ cup of chopped pecans.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for 20 minutes before transferring the cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • n a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract using an electric mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar ⅓ at a time and beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Assembly

  • Place the first layer on a cake stand and cover with cream cheese frosting. Stack the second layer on top and spread the top and outsides of the cake with frosting. Use your hand to press the additional 2 cups of toasted pecan pieces to the outside of the cake.
  • Right before you are ready to serve, cut the ends off the whole carrots and then cut the carrot in half lengthwise. Place them on top of the cake with the pointed ends facing the center. Use a the herb leaves as the carrot tops. (See notes.)

Notes

  • Calories do not include garnish ingredients.
  • If you are using the fresh carrots to decorate the cake, place them on the cake right before you are ready to serve. If they are left on overnight, the moisture from the carrots will seep out and cause the frosting to become "wet" around the edges of the carrots.
  • For a 3 layer cake use three 8 inch cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • This recipe makes 18-24 cupcakes. Use cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Carrot Cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the slices individually in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil.