Just a few tiny upgrades will take your carrot cake to the next level. Classic flavours of cinnamon and vanilla cake, studded with grated carrots, encased in the fluffiest cream cheese frosting, that is not too sweet or heavy.
If you are looking for a gluten-free treat, take a look at our Double Stacked Berry Pavlova. Another Easter classic!
If you are someone who immediately thinks of a carrot cake for your Easter dessert, this recipe is for you! Classic taste, straightforward method and an outstanding result. I am so excited to share my recipe today.
Easter is my favourite holiday meal. Inspired by spring, rebirth and new beginnings, I love creating my menu out of dishes that are fresh, light and zippy.
Carrot cake, gently perfumed with cinnamon and wrapped in delicate cream cheese icing, definitely falls into that category. I know many people rely on chocolate around Easter time but not me.
I am all about desserts that are light and ethereal. I am also keen on making your Easter meal about time with the family and not hours in the kitchen and stress. That’s why I present you with my EASY recipe.
Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
Apart from its divine flavour and texture, this cake is extremely simple to make. No special technique or superb baking skills required.
All you have to do is to mix the cake batter in a bowl, divide between two pans and bake. As if by magic, the cake comes out light and moist. Every single time.
Well, it’s not really magic but carrots if I am completely honest. They make the cake sponge supremely moist.
This recipe is classic, no pineapple or raisins. I didn’t want anything to interfere with the buttery texture of the cake sponge. I do like nuts…quite a bit actually.
So instead of adding them to the cake, I covered the exterior with toasted pecans. Great texture and an accessible decorating trick.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Many recipes for carrot cake feature a frosting that has been made by combining cream cheese, icing sugar and butter. The result is very sweet and a bit runny frosting, that is impossible to pipe.
I’ve always preferred to rely on whipping cream instead of butter to make my cream cheese frosting. This winning combination delivers a frosting that is not too sweet or heavy.
It holds up beautifully if you wish to pipe little rosettes on top. Light, fluffy and delicious. I noticed that my daughter stopped scraping her icing off cakes once I switched from butter to heavy cream. That’s a win for me.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- To add a richer flavour to the cake I replaced a third of the white sugar with brown sugar. Easy swap, which results in improved flavour.
- I used 5 medium sized grated carrots for the batter, which is slightly more than 3 cups but I loved the moisture they add to the cake.
- I always line my cake pans with parchment paper rounds after I grease them. Simply trace the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan on parchment paper and cut them out. It take extra 5 minutes but ensures easy cake removal every time.
- If the cakes come slightly domed, I cut the the tops off with a sharp knife to make sure my sponges are perfectly flat before assembling. That little tip will make you cakes look more professional.
- Cream cheese frosting is very easy to make but you need to get heavy whipping cream, which has at least 36% fat content. Anything lower than that and the frosting might separate. Little details are very important in baking!
- Finally toast the pecans or walnuts before you decorate the cake with them. Toasting them will improve the flavour and will add a nice crunch.
- While not necessary, adding little candy carrots will give you that picture perfect cake everyone will be swooning over. I bought my white chocolate and glazed carrots on Amazon but many grocery stores carry them as well.
Favourite Cake Recipes:
- Naked Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Crushed Strawberries
- Black Forest Cake
- Earl Grey Meringue Cake
- Black and White Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Compote
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake
- 200g/1 cup white sugar
- 100g/1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs large
- 170ml/3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 280g/2 cups all purpose/plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 5 (3 cups) shredded carrots medium carrots
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 400g/14 oz cream cheese full fat
- 300ml/1 ¼ cup double/heavy whipping cream 36% fat content
- 65g/1/2 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 55g/1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans for decoration
- 8 ready made candy or white chocolate decorative carrots
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease 2 X 8 inch pans and dust with flour to prevent the cake from sticking.
- Beat the both sugars, egg and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer until well combined for about 1 minute. Then add in the flour, cinnamon,baking soda and baking powder, vanilla and salt, mix well but to do not overmix. Then stir in the carrots with a spatula.
- Evenly divide the batter between two pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick, it should come out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack and cool completely. While the cake is cooling toast the nuts in a dry frying pan until they start to release aroma and getting a touch of colour. Remove from the pan, chop roughly and set aside till needed.
- In a mixing bowl combine the full fat cream cheese, double/whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla and whip with an electric mixer until stiff. This will take between 3-4 minutes but will be significantly shorter if whipped in a stand mixer with a balloon attachment. For the US readers: Whip room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Whip the whipping cream separately. Fold the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture until well combined.
- To assemble the cake set one sponge on a cake stand or a flat plate and spread ¼ of the cream cheese frosting on it, then top with the second layer. Cover the top and sides with cream cheese frosting using an offset spatula, reserving ½ cup of the frosting to pipe rosettes on top if desired. Or finish the cake with pretty swirls using the back of a spoon. Top with ready made candy or white chocolate carrots. (Alternatively you can use pecan halves as decoration instead of candy carrots.)Then press the chopped nuts into the sides of the cake.