Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This beautiful cake always graces our Test Kitchen Easter table. It’s sweetly spiced with a moist and delicate crumb that melts in the mouth. All wrapped up in a silky blanket of featherlight cream cheese frosting, we’ve added some cute fondant carrots to mark the occasion.
2 hrs total time
40 mins active time
For the cake:
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup (7 oz) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (7 oz) white sugar
- 1¼ cups (10 fl oz) grapeseed oil
- 4 large eggs
- 4 medium carrots
peeled and shredded
- 1 cup (5 oz) raisins
- 1½ cups (6 oz) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups (10½ oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
For the frosting:
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
chopped, at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese
chopped, at room temperature
- 3¼ cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the fondant carrots:
- 2 oz white fondant
- Orange food coloring
- Green food coloring
- 1Grease and line the base of 2 x 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
- 2Insert the wire rack into position 6. Select BAKE/CONVECTION/330°F/45 minutes and enable Rotate Remind. Press START to preheat.
- 3Place the sugars, oil and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts.
- 4Place the remaining cake ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed to combine. Add the carrot mixture and mix on medium speed until combined, do not overmix.
- 5Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and level the tops.
- 6Once preheated, place the pans in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. When the Rotate Remind signals, swap the pans and continue cooking until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- 7Stand the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 8Make the frosting, place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat for 1 minute or until pale and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and continue beating for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- 9Make the fondant carrots, tint two-thirds of the fondant with orange food coloring and knead until evenly colored. Tint the remaining fondant with the green food coloring and knead until evenly colored. Divide the orange fondant into 8 even pieces and roll each piece into a 2-inch log, tapering at one end. Use a knife to create small indents to resemble a carrot. Divide the green fondant into 8 even pieces and shape into small rolls, cut into strips, joint together at one end, to create the carrot tops and attach to the carrots.
- 10Use a serrated knife to level the top of the cakes. Place one cake, top-side up on a cake board or serving plate. Spread with a large spoonful of the frosting and sandwich with the remaining cake, top-side down, to create a flat top. Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting into a piping bag, fitted with a small star piping tip. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Pipe a decorative edge. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
- 11Decorate the top of the cake with the carrots and serve.Tip: A turntable and cake scraper makes it easier to spread the frosting over the cake.