Super moist carrot cake recipe with walnuts and a scrumptious vanilla cream cheese icing, a family-favourite dessert not only for Easter, but also all year round. It is beautifully moist, with a dense texture and a magnificent blend of spices that works very well with the sweetness of the cream cheese icing.
Carrot Cake – a super popular dessert
You wouldn’t think that a cake containing veggies could taste that good, would you? Unlike other vegetables, carrots do not have a strong taste, and can hardly tell actually that the cake has carrots in it. They soften nicely when baked and the spices have a pretty sharp taste that gives this cake its distinctive flavour.
But how did the carrot cake become so popular? It seems that carrots were used in puddings even in Medieval times, as they are naturally sweet and moist, and the food rationing in the WW2 may have contributed to the revival of old recipes.
Since vegetables were not rationed at all, and could be consumed in large quantities, it does make sense that sweet recipes calling for carrots would become favourite.
Now, just because carrots are healthy, l wouldn’t go that far as to call carrot cake a very healthy dessert. Not with all that icing. Some recipes call for a ridiculous amount of granulated sugar, which l don’t seem to think necessary, since the icing is sweet anyway. For my easy carrot cake recipe, l cut down a lot on sugar and l’m happy with the amount of sweetness, so let’s call it a lighter carrot cake.
How do you make a moist carrot cake?
Beat together the oil, sugar and eggs until you get a smooth paste, then add the grated carrots, flour, spices and vanilla essence, plus half the amount of chopped walnuts.
Grease and flour a round baking tin (mine was 16×9 cm), add the batter, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (150 Fahrenheit) for about 35-40 minutes until the top is firm and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
How to make the best cream cheese icing (frosting) for carrot cake?
The key is using full-fat ingredients, rather than low fat or o fat. That’s because they have less water, which means the icing will be not become runny. First, beat together the soften butter, sugar and vanilla extract; when you have a smooth paste, add the soft cream cheese, and gently mix. Do not overmix!
In the UK, we do not get block cream cheese, so the texture is a lot softer, which means there is minial beating needed when adding it to the butter.
What else can you add to a carrot cake?
Once the cake is cooled, wither cut it up in 3 or in half only (if using a larger cake tin, so the cake is not as high), spread icing in between each slice, plus over the cake, and decorate with more chooped walnuts.
You don’t have to add walnuts to it, but the nice crunch works perfectly well here. Pecans can also be used instead of walnuts, and l can see many recipes calling either for dried fruit like raisins or fresh/canned fruit like pineapples.
I personally think it’s a matter of choice and it comes down to your own taste. You can also use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, although this means the cake will have a coconut taste.
Make this recipe yours and add anything you like, as long as the texture is right and basic ingredients are not removed.
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Super moist carrot cake recipe with walnuts and cream cheese icing, a beautifully flavourful cake that is popular not only for Easter, but all year round.
- 300 g plain flour
- 250 ml sunflower oil
- 4 eggs
- 160 g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g grated carrots
- 50 g chopped walnuts
- 180 g full-fat cream cheese
- 50 g butter, soften
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the sponge, add the eggs, granulated sugar and oil to a bowl and whisk well until you get a smooth, thick consistency.
Add the grated carrot, flour, spices, vanilla extract and half of the amount of chopped walnuts and mix everything well with a spatula.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Oil and flour a round cake tin, and add the batter to it.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is firm to touch and well risen with a golden brown colour.
Remove from the tin and allow it to cool.
Meantime, make the icing by mixing the sugar, butter and vanilla extract together. Do not overbeat, as the icing could become runny. AAdd the cream cheese and mix gently.
Once the sponge has cooled down, use a kitchen knife to cut it either in half or in 3, spread icing on each layer, top and sides and decorate with chopped walnuts.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.