Best carrot cake ever. Discover the secret to the most incredibly moist carrot cake recipe from scratch ever with creamy cream cheese frosting.
The Landsberger household went through a lot of testing to find the best carrot cake recipe ever.
I scoured the internet to find the different variations of carrot cake. I finally settled on 5 recipes. Some included pineapple. Some raisin. Some has pecans (or toasted pecans). One had pureed carrots. And I made them ALL. My husband’s workplace was thrilled with this.
Finally, I settled on one base recipe. But it needed something. So I incorporated the pureed carrots (the secret to what makes this cake so moist) from one recipe. The spice ratio from another. And came up with a completely new, moist, best-ever carrot recipe from scratch.
We had achieved victory!
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Carrot Cake Notes
Before we get to the recipe, there are few things I wanted to share with you.
I highly suggest getting a KitchenAid stand mixer. These things are amazing! If you’re not sure which one to get, I have an entire post: The Ultimate KitchenAid Mixer Review. But if you don’t have one, no problem. A regular mixer works too.
For steaming the carrots, I don’t actually break out my steamer. I boil about 2″ of water in a large pasta pan. Add my metal colander. Put the carrots in the colander. And cover with a lid. I don’t see any need to drag out my steamer just for a few carrots.
You can use any blender to puree the carrots. But since it’s such a small amount, I normally just use my Magic Bullet.
When doing the final mixing of the carrot cake, don’t over-mix. Just mix until ingredients are incorporated.
When making the cream cheese frosting, make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature! You’re going to get lumps if they’re even the least bit cold.
Moist, Best Carrot Cake Ever With Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 lbs. carrots
- 1 C. vegetable oil
- 1/2 C. granulated white sugar
- 1/2 C. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 C. light brown sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 & 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 C. buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 3 round cake pans.
- Peel all carrots. Grate 2 & 1/2 C. of carrots. Set aside.
- Chop rest of carrots into 1" chunks. Steam until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Allow to cool. Puree. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer, cream together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugars.
- Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
- Mix in carrot puree.
- In a seperate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture to oil & sugar mixture. Add 1/3 C. of buttermilk. Mix until just blended.
- Repeat with another 1/3 of flour mixture & buttermilk. Mix until just blended.
- Repeat with last 1/3 of flour mixture & buttermilk. Mix until just blended.
- Fold in grated carrots.
- Split the mixture between the 3 prepared baking pans.
- Bake for approximately 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Flip cakes out onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lay out cream cheese and butter and allow to come to room temperature.
- Whip cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until completely smooth and no lumps (approximately 2 minutes).
- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Whip in.
- Add another cup of powdered sugar. Whip in.
- Add last 1/2 C. of powdered sugar (and cinnamon, if using). Whip at least 2 minutes until everything completely mixed and frosting is slightly fluffy.
- Cut the rounded top off two of the cakes until they have flat tops.
- Place one flat cake on serving platter. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese frosting over it.
- Add remaining flat cake on top of frosted flat layer. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese frosting over it.
- Add the last (still rounded top) cake on top of second frosted layer. Apply a thin coat of cream cheese frosting to top and sides. (This is your crumb coat).
- Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, allowing crumb coat to set.
- Remove cake. Apply remaining frosting to cake.
- Chill at least 30 minutes.
- Serve. Refridgerate leftover cake (do not store at room temperature because of cream cheese).
Wrapping it up
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