Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RECIPE: My Favorite Carrot Cake (feat. Cream Cheese Icing and Pecans)

This cake is decadent and so easy to make! I can make this recipe and have a perfectly finished cake and a spotless kitchen in 90 minutes flat! Feel free to substitute walnuts for pecans, either is excellent. (Hint: If you have trouble translating the measurements, a quick Google search is all it takes to translate cups or sticks into grams, etc.)
Cake Ingredients
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots (see note 1)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
NOTE 1: I cheat and buy the baby carrots already peeled and just run them through the grater on my food processor. It takes about 3 minutes and it rinses clean in a snap!
Icing Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 cups confectioners sugar
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1.5 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
Cake Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare 2 8” round pans (grease and flour well).
2. In mixer bowl, add eggs and mix slightly. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Mix well.

3. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
4. Fold in carrots.
5. Fold in pecans.
6. Pour into prepared pans and bake approximately 55 minutes. (See note 2.)
7. Cool cakes completely before assembly/icing. (See note 3.)
NOTE 2: My ovens over the years have varied greatly on this baking time. Cakes are ready before they look ready – but not until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Watch them closely the first time you try this. I’ve used ovens that baked this cake in 50 minutes and ovens where it took well over an hour.
NOTE 3: Flip pans upside down while catching cake – just to loosen the cake from the pan. Then sit the pans back down with the cakes still inside them. Leave the cakes in the pans for at least 10 minutes so they’ll hold their shape. After 10 minutes is up, flip cakes out and finish cooling on wire rack.
Icing Directions
1. In mixer bowl, cream butter.
2. Add cream cheese, mix well.
3. Add confectioners sugar, mix well.
4. Add vanilla, mix well
5. Fold in chopped nuts.
Assembly Directions
1. Tort COMPLETELY COOLED cakes so you end up with 4 layers of 1” cake (or thereabouts).
2. Cover each layer generously with icing and stack. It’s nice if the icing oozes out the sides. :)
3. Cover the top with an illicit amount of icing.
4. Decorate with a few whole nuts.
If there are any leftovers, I refrigerate in a TRULY airtight container after the second day – and that ensures cake will stay fresh not dry out. Putting any cake in a fridge will dehydrate the cake if it’s not in an airtight container.


  1. Hi! Is it ok to substitute butter to vegetable oil? What's the difference?

  2. Is this recipe sturdy enough to be covered in sugarpaste?

    1. I've never tried. You could certainly give it a coat of white chocolate ganache beforehand and that would increase the sturdiness.

  3. Would this cake batter (as per the ings) fit in a 6, 8 or 10 inch round tin?

    1. The recipe is for two 8" pans as included in the instructions. You could easily do 2 batches if you want to use 10" pans.

  4. Hi peggy, every time I make this cake it overflows. I follow the recipe exactly. I use 2 8 inch pans. It's so frustrating because everyone looooves this cake except me because of the mess it makes. :(

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