This cake was my creation for Easter dessert this year. I even dressed it up with edible shimmer sprinkled across the top!
I absolutely love carrot cake, but it’s one of those foods that I rarely eat because it usually contains walnuts, pecans, or some other type of toasted nut, making homemade nut-free carrot cake such a treat for me! I love my carrot cake chock full of carrots, so there’s a whole three cups of finely shredded carrots packed into this dessert! Does that mean I can count a slice as a serving of vegetables?!
Super Moist Carrot Cake
Yield: One two-tiered 9-inch cake (8-16 servings)
Time: 30 minutes prep, 35-40 minutes baking, ~70 minutes total
For the cake:
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. cinnamon
1½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups finely shredded carrots* (roughly 8 large carrots)
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup crushed pineapple with liquid/juice
zest of one large orange
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (8 tbsp.) butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the finely shredded carrots, canola oil, crushed pineapple, and orange zest. Beat in the dry ingredients, a bit at a time.
- Divide evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Bake at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to fully cool before frosting.
- Whip the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar, a bit at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Place one layer of cake on a plate or cake stand and spread with frosting. Top with the second layer of cake, and cover the entire cake (top and sides) the remaining frosting. If desired, reserve some of the frosting to pipe on decorations.
The cake can be prepared a day or two in advance and stored at room temperature, but it is best to frost this cake the day you plan to eat it. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*Finely shredded carrots keep the carrot cake very moist. If the carrots are shredded into pieces that are too large, they will be too heavy and sink to the bottom of the batter as the cakes cook. Finely shredded carrots stay suspended in the batter, resulting in a more even distribution.