Easy Moist Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
This easy, from-scratch carrot cake recipe combines deceptively simple ingredients and techniques to make a stand-out AMAZING moist and tender, perfectly spiced homemade carrot cake. Includes an easy cream cheese. (No nuts!)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
For Carrot Cake
- 4 large eggs
- 10 oz grated carrot (2 cups packed)
- 1 cup canola oil or other neutral-tasting vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 9 oz all-purpose flour (or 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz full-fat cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (4 oz or 1 stick)
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
To make carrot cake:
Preheat oven to 350ºGrease two 9" cake pans (brush on oil or use a nonstick spraand then also line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until pale and blended, then whisk in the carrot, oil and buttermilk.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
Scrape the carrot mixture into the dry ingredients.
Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the carrot mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Stop as soon as no dry flour remains.
Use a spatula to scrape the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until you gently press the centre and it feels a bit bouncy, rather than your finger sinking in.
Let the cake layers cool in the baking pans for 10 minutes to firm up slightly. Working with one pan at a time, run a butter knife around the outside of the cake. Place a cooling rack on top the cake pan, then (wearing oven mittflip the whole thing over in one motion (cake and cooling rack together). Repeat with second cake and let cool completely before frosting.
To make cream cheese frosting:
Beat the softened butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer on medium speed using the whisk attachment, if you have one.
Pause the stand mixer, add one cup of the sugar, beat it in completely on medium-low speed, pause again and add another cup, and repeat. Once no dry confectioners' sugar remains, turn the mixer speed on high and beat 2 minutes until fluffy and silky. Beat in vanilla extract.
Frost the cake by spooning about half of the frosting in the centre of the bottom layer. Use a knife or offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Position the second cake layer on top, and repeat the frosting step.
If you want to frost the sides as well as the top and middle, use 1/3 of the frosting on the bottom, 1/3 on top, then dollop the remaining 1/3 in a few spots around the outside and smooth it out with a knife.
Store cake, covered, to 24 hours at room temperature, or in the fridge up to 4 days.
The cake is easier to slice while cold, but I prefer to let it come to room temperature to serve, for best texture.
If you prefer a firmer frosting, add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar.