About this Recipe
There are lots of amazing cake recipes for Carrot Cakes, but we think this easy and delicious dessert from Audrey's kitchen is one of the best carrot cake recipes we've ever tasted. If you are looking to make birthday cakes for kids or any adult birthday and you are not wanting chocolate or vanilla cakes, this carrot cake recipe is very moist and has wonderful flavors in it. Adding fresh raw carrots to the cake batter, means you are sneaking in a little bit of vegetables and even fussy eaters tend to enjoy a good carrot cake. There are some recipes that boil the carrots first, but we like this one because the carrots are raw. A good raw carrot is a sweet treat to munch on. It is a wonderful vegetable all on its own and is popular peeled and sliced up into nice carrot sticks that go into lunch boxes. Cream Cheese frosting is usually chosen to go onto a carrot cake because the flavors are a good mix plus it is creamy and super delicious.
1. You can either use a food processor, or you can grate the carrots with a hand grater.
2. If you choose crushed pineapple you will not need to cut them smaller with a food processor as we did in the photos below. The recipe calls for crushed, but if you go to the pantry and only have chunks, you just improvise a little bit.
3. The optional raisins, chocolate chips and coconut flakes are just that, options. Only add items you know your family will enjoy. Lots of people really do not like coconut and raisins in their baking. When baking for those you love, you get to choose what you know will be a success.
4. Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature when you mix for the icing.
5. It is best to store leftover cake in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese frosting.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, (we used grapeseed oil)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, (we used almonds, but walnuts are good too)
2 cups grated carrots, 3-4 carrots, depending on size
1 cup pineapple, canned crushed with the juice drained (or if you are using chunks, break up in the food processor)
*Optional: 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips or coconut flakes (or a combination of you choice)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream, cheese at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with a little oil.
3. You will use an electric mixing bowl for this cake.
4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and brown sugar into a mixing bowl and stir together with a spatula.
5. Peel and either use a food processor or a grater to grate the carrots finely.
6. Add the oil, eggs, grated carrots and drained pineapple to the dry ingredients and turn the electric mixer onto medium speed and beat until all the ingredients are well combined.
7. Pour into the prepared baking pan and place into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
9. Remove and place onto a cooling rack.
10. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until you reach a nice consistency. Beat in the vanilla.
3. Spread onto the cooled cake and garnish with the chopped walnuts on top.
Preparing the oven is key to baking your cake with success. Arrange the height of your oven shelves. It is vital to set the cake in the right position plus to have the oven temperature right. You must preheat the oven before you put the cake in. There must be room for heat to circulate in the oven around your cake so it bakes evenly. Ovens vary greatly in temperature. You will need to learn by experience of baking what your oven does.
When you place the cake in the oven, it goes onto the middle rack. Don't open the oven door until you have reached the minimum time called for in a recipe. Before you take the cake right out of the oven, do the readiness test with something like a toothpick or a skewer in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean it it baked. If the tester comes out with anything sticking to it then you need to bake longer.
You can also use the spring back test method to see if the cake is baked. You simply press the top of the cake lightly with your fingertips It is springs back it is done, if it forms an indent it is not ready. Cakes will also start to shrink away from the sides of the pan when they are baked.
Get in the habit of preparing your baking pans at the start of the process. Generally you are asked to lightly grease or line with parchment paper. Having the pan ready means when the mixing of the batter is done, you can immediately transfer into the waiting pan and place into the preheated oven.