Carrot Cake – This carrot cake sheet cake is moist and fluffy with a hint of warm spice, soft carrots, and sweet brown sugar. Top this cake off with a tangy cream cheese frosting and you’ve got the perfect crowd-pleasing dessert.
One of my favorite spring desserts to make is carrot cake. I love spice cake and the addition of carrots and a bit of yummy cream cheese frosting on top really makes it so perfect. Something I have come to terms with when I make homemade cakes is that I just don’t have the dedication to make fancy, multi-layered cakes. I like just sticking to a good old sheet cake that can be made in a large sheet pan or glass casserole dish. It ends up tasting just as good but it is much more approachable for home bakers!
Common Questions About Making Carrot Cake
What is a carrot cake?
A carrot cake is a spiced cake with shredded carrots cooked into it along with walnuts or raisins (depending on preference).
What kind of frosting is on a carrot cake?
Usually, you will find cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake.
How long does a carrot cake last?
I would say about 3 days in the refrigerator if the frosting is on it but you keep the frosting separate, it will last a few extra days.
What can I top a carrot cake with?
When I serve carrot cake, I like to top it with a dusting of cinnamon and chopped pecans or maple cinnamon walnuts.
Why does a carrot cake have no butter?
Carrot cakes are an oil based cake rather than a butter based cake which helps keep it moist.
What else can I add to a carrot cake?
Popular mix-ins include walnuts, pecans, pineapple, or even raisins.
What other carrot cake desserts can I make?
There are many other spins on classic carrot cake including –
Ingredient Notes –
- Vegetable oil adds richness to the cake and helps keep it moist.
- Light brown sugar sweetens the cake. I like the depth of flavor that brown sugar adds but granulated sugar would work too.
- Eggs help bind the cake batter together. They also add moisture and richness.
- Greek yogurt is my secret ingredient in this cake! It adds a bit of moisture and tanginess and helps keep the cake really light and fluffy.
- Vanilla enhances the sweetness and spice of the cake.
- I highly recommend grating the carrots on a box grated rather than buying shredded carrots. It really makes a difference in the texture of the cake.
- Flour gives the cake structure. Make sure to measure using the spoon and level method as adding too much flour can result in a dry cake.
- The combination of baking powder and baking soda results in a light cake that has the perfect crumb. I highly recommend both!
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are those classic “warming” spices that make everything taste cozy.
- Cream cheese adds tanginess and structure to the frosting. Make sure it’s fully softened or you’ll end up with lumps in your frosting.
- Butter gives the frosting structure and delicious flavor. Just like the cream cheese, make sure it’s fully softened!
- Powdered sugar sweetens the frosting. Feel free to add a bit more or a bit less than 2 cups to achieve your desired consistency.
Looking for more cake recipes? Check these out!
For the Cake
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
- Add the grated carrots and stir them into the wet ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined - don't want to overmix.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the softened cream cheese and butter to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until well combined - about 1 minute.
- Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and top with chopped roasted pecans or a pinch of cinnamon, if desired.
- Slice and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
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