Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
I can’t believe it took me this long to bake up a carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream frosting! This is an all-time favorite dessert of my husband’s and it is oh-so easy to make, yielding the most incredibly moist and tasty carrot cake ever!!
I always use my favorite one-bowl method of mixing to make this super easy carrot cake, even easier! The batter will be ready in minutes, and can be poured into two 8″ or 9″ cake pans or baked in a 9 x 13 cake pan, depending on your preference.
Of course, I meant to get this posted a L-O-N-G time ago…like the same year I baked it – Easter 2018, at the same time as my Hot Cross Buns. But things come up and I had to step away from my beloved blog for a while. I’ve missed posting my recipes, and have decided to finally really focus on what I love to make (of course, I love great food too so will undoubtedly continue to post fabulous savory meal recipes as we continue). Time to put the ‘Bake’ into Bake It With Love!
This is a traditional, classic cake like no other…with historical roots going back deep into medieval Europe. While many will attribute carrot cake to the English use of carrots as a substitute sweetener (second only in sugar content to sugar beets) in the related carrot pudding, it is more likely that the history goes even deeper into European history. Germany is known for having originated many cakes and tarts, and the word ‘cake’ actually derives from the Viking ‘kaka’.
Last Updated: November 19th, 2019
Desserts with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (this page)
- Preacher Cake (Preachers Delight) with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Super Moist Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
*total time includes cooling period, making your frosting, and icing the cake!
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp orange peel (dried)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups carrots, grated (3-4 medium to large carrots)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup walnuts (optional) (for topping)
Prepare your 8 inch round cake pans using a non-stick cooking spray or greasing them and coating in flour (which is our preferred method, when saving time we use the baking spray from Wilton called 'Bake Easy').
In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices (ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg), dried orange peel, and salt then combine thoroughly.
Add the unsweetened applesauce and grated carrots, stir until all of the carrots are moistened and evenly distributed in the wet batter.
Add the all-purpose flour and stir until just combined, do not over-mix the carrot cake batter. Batter will be wet slash runny and lumpy.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans, distributing the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25-28 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool slightly in the pain before inverting them to transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow the carrot cake layers to cool completely before frosting them.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and (softened, room temperature) butter with a hand mixer or your stand mixer.
Add vanilla bean paste and confectioners sugar (you can add all at once, but I like to add about half, combine the ingredients, then add the remaining half and combine until done). *If your frosting is too runny, add more confectioners sugar. If it is too firm to spread easily on your cake, then drizzle some heavy cream in gradually until you achieve your desired consistency.
If necessary, cut any excess 'dome' from the tops of your layers so that the cake layers are even. Stack your cake with the first layer face down, giving you a nice, smooth surface to work with.
On the first cake layer, add enough frosting for a roughly 1/4 inch layer (more or less, depending on your preference) and smooth to the edges of the cake layer using a straight or offset spatula.
Stack the second cake layer and add more frosting (for a thicker top layer) and spread evenly over the top. Spread a thin layer on the sides and scrape evenly for a semi-exposed 'naked' look, if desired.
Place walnuts in a ziplog bag and crush slightly, sprinkle the walnuts on the top center of frosted cake.