I’m a carrot cake freak. F-R-E-A-K.
Every year for I don’t even know how long, my mom and I always had carrot cake on our birthday (side note: we have the same birthday. What a crappy birthday for her 24 years ago, eh?). We never really made it for ourselves but liked finding different bakeries and ordering the cakes from there to see which would be best.
MY favorite one year came from a patisserie that felt like carrot cake should have many layers and each layer should have 2 inches of cream cheese icing in between each layer, on top and all around the sides. I think there was more cream cheese icing than actual cake and I totally wasn’t complaining. It was perfectly dense and carroty and full of raisins aaaand we served it ice cold. Yes, ice cold cake. I do not like room temperature or warm carrot cake. I also will not eat it with nuts in it BUT will happily eat nuts off of the icing if it’s decorated with them… but only if they’re not soggy. So basically you have to garnish it with the nuts just before I’m gonna eat it. Before the icing makes them soft and weird.
I’m a mega high maintenance carrot cake eater.
This is not the cake from the patisserie. Obviously. But it is pretty perfect. Baked in a sheet pan so you can have the right amount of cake to cream cheese icing ratio without having a 6 layer piece of cake because that just isn’t something we do everyday. I like having this in the fridge just so I can grab a fork and scrape out a few pieces as necessary… like after I have my coffee and breakfast. Dessert after breakfast? It’s a thing for me. Almost always.
This one also doesn’t feature raisins (BOOOO) because we share cake and there seems to be a lot of people who have a real hate on for raisins. I will never understand this. My brain cannot understand you raisin haters. If you love love love them like me, add them! Please! Also, you can add nuts if you like that sorta thing. If you like soggy nuts in your cake. Bleh.
I sent 10 pieces in to Mark’s office. 5 people ate half of it before 9am and all of it by 1pm. They like cake for breakfast, too. They get me.
PS; the recipe totally calls for vegetable oil which I don’t love. I don’t love using vegetable oil in baking usually because I’m a butter lover. There is 3 different butters in my fridge right now and if I had my way, there’d probably be 6. Yes, there’s that many different kinds of butters out there. I love this food world we lucky people live in.
HOWEVER. Carrot cake just needs oil. It doesn’t turn out right with butter. WHAT YOU CAN DO is use coconut oil which will give it a lovely tropically coconut flavor OR refined coconut oil which has no flavor. It’s up to you. We used vegetable ’cause we forgot we literally had both types of coconut oil.
Also, I don’t feel like having a couple pieces of cake with vegetable oil in it is gonna kill me so, ya know, use the oil and eat the cake and have a fine ass Sunday. A Sunday of carrot cake for breakfast, sunshine and some good times. Hopefully outside on the patio with a glass of ice cold white wine, too. But maybe not the wine for breakfast.
- 2 C all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¾ C packed brown sugar
- ¾ C granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ C vegetable oil (or coconut)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C grated carrots
- 1 C drained crushed canned pineapple
- optional: ½ C pecans, walnuts or raisins
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ C soft butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and powder and spices.
- In a separate bowl or stand mixer, beat together the oil and sugars. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat for 1-2 minutes.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet in to it. Gently stir together until just combined. Add the carrot, pineapple and raisins/walnuts/pecans if using.
- Pour in to prepared pan and bake on the center rack for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan.
- In your stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and icing sugar and beat until light and creamy, about 2 more minutes. Spread evenly over entire cake.
The cake will last for about 5 days in the fridge but it's best on the first 3.
Adapted from Canadian living