A moist, tender double-decker carrot cake, lightly spiced and full of juicy sultanas. Covered in a cream cheese frosting and topped with Easter eggs, it’s the perfect dessert to serve this Spring (or any time of year, really!).
I have made this carrot cake three times in the last month or so. Each time, the cake was perfectly moist and deliciously scrumptious, but the world was out to get me. I had frosting issues the first time. My butter was too cold, even though it had been sitting out for (literally) hours. There were visible flecks of it in the frosting, it wasn’t pretty. The second time I didn’t trim the tops off the cakes, so the photos just didn’t look right. There may also have been minor balancing issues. Very minor though. Third time, the stars aligned and everything worked perfectly. Trial and error, baby!
There has been a lot of carrot cake going on in our house lately, but luckily, I’m a huge fan of it. I was not keen on it one bit until about 3 years ago. Actually, it was the idea of it that I wasn’t keen on – carrots…in a cake? Nuh uh! Sometimes I don’t understand my previous narrow-mindedness. Luckily, these days I’m much more open to trying things, and of course, carrot cake and I fell in love. Making three of them in the last month is just making up for lost time together.
I don’t know why carrot cake is associated with Easter. It never was in my house growing up. I figure it’s either because the Easter Bunny eats carrots or because it’s the start of Spring and everything is in bloom and people are harvesting their veggies and all that new life stuff, right? Maybe it isn’t a thing in Australia because it’s not Spring there right now. I don’t really know. All I know is that carrot cake is going to be a huge part of my life forever and ever regardless of the season or the hemisphere that I live in!
This carrot cake is so incredibly moist and tender and packed with delicious spices and juicy sultanas and then it’s smothered in cream cheese frosting. I think everything should be smothered in cream cheese frosting, it is so good. So much better than any buttercream could ever be. Ugh, buttercream is so overrated and doesn’t even taste nice. Can you tell I’m not a fan? Anyway, those are not words to describe this cake, so let’s stop dwelling, shall we? Go and make it right now, it’ll change your life. And your opinion of vegetables in desserts if you’re that way inclined.
Prep Time: 25 minutes + cooling time for the cake
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup caster sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2¼ cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
350g carrots, grated (about 2-3 large carrots)
½ cup sultanas (optional)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
¾ cup cream cheese, softened (about 175g)
50g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Easter eggs, to decorate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease two 20cm round cake pans.
- To a large bowl, add vegetable oil, caster sugar and brown sugar and whisk to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a separate medium bowl, combine plain flour, cinnamon, bicarb soda, salt and nutmeg. Add flour mix to oil mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add grated carrots and sultanas and stir 3 or 4 times to incorporate. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans (I use kitchen scales to measure roughly the same weight into each pan). Bake for approx. 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I like to cool them upside down on the wire rack to flatten the tops slightly.
- Once cake has cooled completely, prepare cream cheese frosting: Use a wooden spoon or electric mixer to combine softened cream cheese and butter. Add sifted icing sugar and beat until well combined, then mix in vanilla extract. If consistency is too thin, add another ½ cup of sifted icing sugar and mix well. If it is too thick, add ½ tsp of water and mix well.
- To assemble the cake, you will need to use a large knife to level the tops of the cakes. Turn one cake upside down on your serving plate and spread a third of the frosting on top with a spatula. Place the second cake upside down on top of the first cake and spread remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with Easter eggs or other sweets, if using. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.