This is a straight up a delicious carrot cake - no raisins, no nuts! The cream cheese frosting is to die for!
July 2020: Recipe updated! I really love cooking. I really don't love baking. It stresses me out! But I do make a mean carrot cake. I've been making this recipe a lot over the past few months (for others to enjoy okay?). What I've learned: the key to success for this cake is, certain ingredients should be at room temperature, for at least 3 hours! Those being: the eggs, butter and cream cheese. Other factors: dividing this recipe into 2 pans. I use 9 inch round pans. I like to use parchment paper as a lining for the bottom of the cake. Trace the bottom of the cake pan on parchment and cut it out. Butter both pans (the bottom and half an inch up the sides). Place the parchment paper on the bottom and smooth it out.
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda, baking powder and ground cinnamon
2 cups of grated carrots
1/2 package of cream cheese (4 0z/125g), softened/room temp (can be either full fat or light, I make with either and it always turns out delicious!)
1 & 1/4 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup of butter, softened (room temperature)
1/2 tbsp of vanilla (original recipe called for 1 tbsp but I found this too much)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and oil on a medium speed for a minute or 2. Now add the eggs, one at a time. Beat for another minute. The mixture should be smooth and yellow in colour.
Step 2: Place a sieve over top the mixture and sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, combine the ingredients together, roughly 30 seconds worth of mixing. Now add the carrots and mix to combine.
Step 3: Whether you are using a spring form pan or dividing this cake into 2 cake pans, butter the pans and add parchment paper to the bottom of the pan (*read my comment in the header section). Bake for 50-60 minutes for the spring form pan, and 25 minutes for the divided pans. Check to ensure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick, making sure is comes out clean!
Step 4: Place pan(s) on a cooling rack. Let sit for 10 minutes, then turn them over and pop out the cake. Peel off the parchment paper. If you are using a spring form pan, pop that sucker out too. Let the cakes cool completely. Icing a warm cake is a BAD idea! Trust me.
Step 5: To make the icing, in the large bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, add the butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium-high for a minute or two. Scrape down the bowl and on a low speed mix again. Now add the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides again. Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking for another minute or two. I find the more I let it whisk, the creamier the icing turns out. The key to this icing is making sure the cream cheese and butter are soft and at room temperature.
Step 6: I am no baker or cake decorator so ice this cake however you choose. If you divided the cake into 2, place one cake in the centre of your stand and add a thin layer of icing. Place the second cake on top (I like to flip my cake so that the cakes aren't going the same way, it makes it more stable/flat). Now I like to toss a bunch of icing on the top, zig zap a spatula over the top and let the icing almost fall off the sides. Sometimes I use a butter knife and cover the sides of the cake but it typically looks like my 3 year old helped me with it. Now its time to slice up this sucker and enjoy!