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. My kind of cake!
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.
How TO make a moist carrot cake
I love making carrot cakes, they are not only super easy to make, but they look absolutely fabulous too! 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.
- Beat together the oil, sugar and eggs until you get a smooth paste
- Add the grated carrots, flour, spices and vanilla extract, plus half the amount of chopped walnuts.
- Grease and flour 2 round baking trays (mine are 23 cm, 9 iches), divide the batter between the 2 tins, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is firm and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
the best cream cheese icing (frosting)
The key to making the best cream cheese icing 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!
If the icing does becoming runny for any reason, add one tablespoon of corn flour (or more) and mix, the icing should get to the right consistency after. In the UK, we do not get block cream cheese, so the texture is a lot softer, which means there is minimal beating needed when adding it to the butter.
What else can you add to a carrot cake?
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.
I love vanilla icing, and you can use just that if you don’t have cream cheese, just double up the the ingredients (or triple up if yo like more icing!!! and that should be all. Make this recipe yours and add anything you like, as long as the texture is right and basic ingredients are not removed.
MORE EASTER TREATS:
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Moist Carrot Cake recipe from scratch with vanilla cream cheese frosting, the best homemade dessert to be baked all year round, especially for Easter or Christmas. It's absolutely delicious, and the earthy spices bring so much flavour. It's so easy to make, that even a complete beginner can bake it. A family-favourite dessert, this classic carrot cake recipe is the only one you need. Do give it a try!
- 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
- 100 g butter, soften
- 200 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 (350 Fahrenheit).
Oil and flour 2 round cake tins (mine are 23 cm, 9 inches), and divide the batter between the 2 tins evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cakes are firm to touch and well risen with a golden brown colour.
Remove from the tin and allow them to cool.
Meantime, make the icing by mixing the sugar, butter and vanilla extract together. Do not overbeat, as the icing could become runny. Add the cream cheese and mix gently.
Once the sponges have cooled down, arrange one cake on a plate or cake stand, spread half of the icing over, arrange the second cake on top, and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides.
Decorate with more 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.