Hope’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is amazingly moist and delicious. Make it exactly as written or try my version (in parenthesis). It’s lower in fat and sugar but does not compromise the results at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I use 1 cup)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1.5 cups sugar – 1 cup granulated and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 cups (260 g – about 4 large) finely grated carrots (use a box grater for best results)
  • 1 cup pineapple, crushed & drained
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (I use 1.5 teaspoons)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I use 5 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 lb. box Confectioner’s Sugar (I use 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I used 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

For the cake

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment. 
  2. Shred carrots using large holes of box grater; transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.
  3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
  4. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil).
  5. Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  6. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
  8. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

For the frosting

  1. When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla at medium high speed in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or in large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.

Americas Test Kitchen Carrot Cake (Similar Recipe)

2 ½cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 ¼teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼teaspoons ground cinnamon
½teaspoon ground nutmeg
teaspoon ground cloves
½teaspoon table salt
1pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 ½cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
½cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4large eggs
1 ½cups vegetable oil, safflower oil, or canola oil

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
5tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1tablespoon sour cream
½teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼cups confectioners’ sugar (4 1/2 ounces)