Everyone loves a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting right? Believe it or not, they weren’t my favorite dessert up until 6 years ago. When someone mentioned Carrot cake to me i automatically think of the school dinner version “lump of dry flavorless cake with a dollop of icing and a fake carrot to finish it off”. Let me start by saying this recipe is NOTHING LIKE THAT….Don’t worry.
This recipe has the perfect balance of spice and sweetness which makes this recipe one of my go to bakes. Its by no means tasteless and has a lot of depth and texture…which i absolutely adore. If your not a carrot cake type of person, why not try my White chocolate kinder bueno cupcakes with nutella drizzle?
What is carrot cake?
My version of this beaut is moist, textured and filled with spiced ingredients. The combination of spice with the sweet cream cheese outer is to die for. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and vanilla is all something you will experience when eating this cake. I love to combine nuts like pecans, Walnuts and Almonds in this recipe to add more texture to the sponge. The recipe can be used with or without nuts if you prefer.
How to get the best bake when baking carrot cake?
When i make this i always talk about how silicone bake ware is best. I always get a lovely moist bake when using my silicone pans compared to my metal tins. I also find it much easier to remove from the mold because once the case is cooled, it just peels off. It comes with the added bonus of these silicone pans are VERY easy to clean….That’s a Big plus in my books. If you do end up using silicone…..remember you will need to bake the cake longer. Always test your cake with a toothpick before removing it from the oven.
Keeps getting better and better
The beauty with this recipe is that the flavors seem to get better a day or two after baking. I always cook this a day ahead to get maximum BOOM from the taste & texture. Think of it like marinading your sponge….works a treat!
Equipment you will need to get started
- Two large bowls
- Measuring Spoons
- Electric Scales
- Hand or Stand Mixer
- Silicone molds or cake tins 9″
- Plastic bag
- Rolling Pin
- Large knife
Lets get started and make our carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
For the Sponge
- 135g Crushed or chopped nuts (pecans and walnuts work best)
- 300g dark brown sugar, you can use granulated sugar however the outcome wont be as moist of flavorsome
- 240ml Vegetable oil
- 100g granulated sugar
- 4 eggs (large)
- 130g of Bramley Apple Sauce - Smooth
- 1tsp Vanilla Essence
- 315g Plain Flour
- 255g Grated Carrots
- 2tsps Baking Powder
- 1tsps Baking Soda
- 1tsp Ground Cloves
- 1tsp Ground Ginger
- 1tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cream cheese icing
- 450g Philadelphia or similar (full fat)
- 110g Salted Butter, room temperature
- 540g Icing sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp of Vanilla essence
- 18ml Thick cream or whipping cream
- If the frosting is too sweet, add a little salt
- 135g of nuts (whole and crushed)
- Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or (350F/180oc). If using nuts, toast these in the oven for 8 minutes. Once roasted, set them aside to cool.
- If you are using silicone molds, no need to line these. However if you use tins make sure to line the bottom and sides to prevent the cake from sticking.
- In a large bowl, add your light brown sugar, veg oil, granulated sugar, eggs, bramley sauce and vanilla. Hand whisk this until smooth and all ingredients combined together, make sure there are no lumps.
- In another large bowl, add your flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Whisk these to combine all ingredients fully.
- Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients folding the mixture with a spatula all ifs mixed together. Don't over mix at this point.
- Add your grated carrots and toasted nuts, fold in gently
- Pour your mixture into your silicone molds or cake pans, ensuring each has an equal amount of batter in them. I like to weigh the molds to make sure they are identical. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins silicone molds 22-26 mins for Baking tins. Always check with a toothpick before removing as every oven is different and you dont want a soggy cake!
- When fully cooked, leave the sponge to rest and cool before removing from mold or pan.
For the topping
- In a large bowl add your Philadelphia or cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth and fully combined.
- Add your icing sugar, vanilla essence and cream. Beat these on your lowest setting for about 1 minute, then increase to the highest setting.
- Taste test and add salt if you need to reduce the sweetness.
Put it all together
- Using a spoon, place the cream cheese frosting on the top of one sponge, spread this to sides with about 2cm thickness. Add your other sponge and pour over the remaining frosting on top. Spread the frosting out with a long knife to cover the full cake and smooth out any imperfections.
- Finally garnish with your nuts any way you like, be creative
Lastly let the spices and cake set in the fridge, ideally 1 day to let everything to marinade.
If you make your frosting too thin. you can add more icing sugar or cornflower to thicken this up.