Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

23 Jun

I LOVE carrot cake. It’s probably my favorite kind of cake…well, maybe it’s tied with a delicate yellow butter cake with chocolate frosting. Either way, this is the best carrot cake to come across my lips.

 Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

-adapted from All Recipes

For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup raisins, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan or a 10″ bundt pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup of the raisins with 1/3 cup water. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. When the raisins have cooled slightly, process them into a paste in a food processor.
  3.  In a dry skillet, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan often, until aromatic, about 7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Beat the eggs and sugar together for 1 minute in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, mix until combined. Drizzle in the oil and mix until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together the raisin paste, coconut, walnuts, remaining 1/3 cup whole raisins, shredded carrots, and crushed pineapple. Toss with 2 Tbsp. flour to prevent the mix-ins from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing just until combined. Fold in the carrot mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool at least 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto cooling rack (if using a bundt). If you are using a 9×13″ simply allow it to cool in the pan.
For the Frosting:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (I used 1/3 less cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups sifted powder sugar
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing until smooth. Spread or pipe onto the cake.
The dry ingredients:
The wet ingredients:
The mix-ins:
The caked looked beautiful when I finally got it out of the pan. I guess I didn’t grease it enough. It took some coaxing, but it came out in one piece. Phew!
While the cake cools, make the incredibly delicious and addicting frosting.
Yes, yes, and yes.
I wanted to make the cake look like these cakes from a national chain.
I had one of the cakes at a friend’s graduation party two weeks ago, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the moist cake and the tangy cream cheese frosting. I’d say my frosting was almost an exact replica of the Nothing Bundt Cakes frosting.
The only thing I would change for next time is how long I whipped the frosting for. I whipped a lot of air into it by letting my mixer go for 5 minutes, so it was fluffier than the frosting from the cakery. I wasn’t complaining though. It was SO. GOOD. And it made way more than I could pipe onto the cake, so I had about two cups left over for me to spread on graham crackers, pretzels, zucchini bread, and whatever else I deemed acceptable to be covered in frosting (my fist?).
I have to warn you that this cake is pretty labor intensive, but the results are so worth it! It is easily the best carrot cake I have ever made or eaten!
It’s full of texture and flavor and it’s beyond moist! Pureeing a portion of the raisins gives the batter a deeper color, keeps the cake moist, and makes the raisins nearly undetectable while keeping the mild sweetness that they provide. I wanted to keep some of the raisins whole for texture, and to let people know that there were some raisins in there.
Oh my. All this talk about the cake makes me wish I still had some left, but it’s been long gone.
If you are looking for the definitive carrot cake recipe, look no further. This is it!!! It’s got something for everyone: just the right amount of spice and lots of goodies folded into a soft, extra-moist cake.
What’s your favorite kind of cake?


5 Responses to “Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Sammee June 25, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    I like Albertson’s cake 🙂

    • Lauren June 25, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      Haha! I know you do. You silly little thing.

  2. ALISON MORTEN June 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    My favorite kind of cake would be THIS carrot cake! It sounds incredible! Next time save a big piece for your mommy!! 🙂 luvs XOXO

  3. karen October 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Just found this recipe online and LOVED it!! I added a splash of vanilla to the frosting – and used it ALL on the cake (mmmmm!) – but other than that, followed the recipe exactly. I agree it was pretty labor intensive, but as a recreational baker and sweets lover, I enjoyed making it (first experience with raisin paste, toasting the nuts, etc.). I greased the bundt pan heavily based on your advice and had no problems getting the cake out. My friends agree this is the best carrot cake (and frankly, almost any kind of cake) they’ve ever had. Thank you!

    • Zestful Lou November 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      Wow thank you so much! It’s always nice to hear that somebody besides my family loved one of my recipes! Good idea adding vanilla to the frosting. I’m pretty sure I just left that little step out of the directions because it’s something I normally do.

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