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How to Bake a Classic Carrot Cake
How to Bake a Classic Carrot Cake

Everyone's favorite orange veggie gets a makeover in this famous, melt-in-your-mouth recipe. If you'd ever had a slice of carrot cake, chances are you asked for seconds.

The steps needed to make a carrot cake aren't as tough as you may think. This recipe only uses a few pantry staples, plus a few healthy carrots, of course! Follow this classic carrot cake recipe and find out why this dish is a piece of cake to make!


Grate Your Carrots

grate or cut carrots in carrot cake Mariha-kitchen / Getty Images

Choose carrots with a healthy, even color and wash them in water. Peel the outer layer of skin with a peeler to prep them for grating. Press your carrots against the smallest holes in your grater and grate the carrots with a downward motion. Continue until you have four cups loosely filled with grated carrot.


Spoon in Your Flour

flour measurement carrot cake

Start by pouring two cups of all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Don't pack the flour into your measuring cup as it will add too much flour into your batter. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off at the top with a knife to ensure you get the correct measurement.


Mix Your Dry Ingredients

dry ingredients carrot cake bhofack2 / Getty Images

Combine the flour with one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of baking powder. Next, add in your spices. Include half a teaspoon of salt, one-half teaspoon of ground ginger, one-quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg and one and one-half teaspoons of ground cinnamon to give your carrot cake a sweet and warmly spiced flavor.


Add in Your Extras

extras carrot cake asiseeit / Getty Images

Nuts or raisins aren't necessary for a great carrot cake, but they add plenty of taste and texture. Pour in a cup of walnuts or pecans to your dry mix and stir in. You can also mix in a half-cup of raisins. Once your added ingredients are fully blended, set the mixing bowl aside.


Mix Your Wet Ingredients

wet ingredients carrot cake

Grab another mixing bowl and add in three-quarters of a cup of vegetable oil. Mix in four eggs with a whisk. Pour in a cup and a half of brown sugar and a half-cup of granulated sugar, along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and combine together. Then, add in your grated carrots and mix until well-blended.

  • Let your eggs warm to room temperature before combining to help prevent lumps from forming in the batter.
  • Double the amount of vanilla extract in your recipe for a stronger flavor.
  • Add a half-cup of unsweetened applesauce for an extra moist cake.

Prepare Your Pans

pans carrot cake mtreasure / Getty Images

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and up the sides of two 9-inch round cake pans with lard or softened butter and lightly dust with flour to prevent your cake from sticking. Spoon the batter evenly into both cake pans. Shake the pans gently to level out the batter.


Bake the Cake

bake carrot cake pidjoe / Getty Images

Place the pans in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake should rise slightly and turn golden-brown, and the edges should darken and lift away from the sides of the pan. Insert a toothpick into the batter to ensure it is fully cooked. If the toothpick is clean when removed, your cake is finished baking.


Prepare Your Frosting

frosting carrot cake NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

Leave out an 8 ounce package of cream cheese along with a half-cup of unsalted butter to soften. Once both the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature, add them to a separate mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until they are well-blended. Then, pour in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cup of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until your cream cheese frosting is smooth and creamy.


Assemble Your Cake

assemble carrot cake NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

Let your cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, place one cake on a platter and use a butter knife to spread your cream cheese frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Carefully place the other cake on top of the first cake to form the second layer. Be sure to line up the two layers evenly to ensure your cake is level and doesn't end up tipping over later! Spread cream cheese frosting over the sides and top of the second layer. Use the side of your butter knife to smooth out the frosting over the surface of your cake to give it a clean, finished look.


Top Your Cake

top carrot cake

Add sweet, delicious toppings to your carrot cake to make a great dessert even better. Candy carrots are a popular edible decoration to line the top of this type of cake. You can also pipe on colorful swirls of frosting or sprinkle on crushed nuts to make your cake extra memorable. Serve by the slice and enjoy!

belchonock / Getty Images




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