Confession time. I’m Kind of a Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting snob. To me, the best carrot cake is dense & rich with tons of delicious bits and texture. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind those light, fluffy versions, but I crave the dark, flavorful version full of texture and spices. And the cream cheese frosting needs to be light & fluffy, tangy and not too sweet. No gloopy, sloppy, overly sweet cream cheese frosting for me, thank you very much!
So let’s talk about Carrot Cake
Over the years I have perfected my ideal carrot cake. swapping out different ingredients until I found what I think is the best combination of moist, sweet, spicy, dense & perfectly textured carrot cake. With Easter right around the corner I figured this was the perfect time to share my carrot cake and cream cheese frosting recipes. I think carrot cake is PERFECT for a special Easter dessert. You know, Easter Bunny… Rabbits…Carrots… well you know what I mean. Ok maybe I’m just weird. But look! Isn’t this a pretty Easter cake?!
What do I use that’s different than a standard carrot cake?
Well, a lot of things actually. I started with a standard carrot cake base recipe. But I wanted more of a caramel sweetness so I substituted half the white sugar for brown sugar. I also LOVE a lot of spices in my carrot cake so I use waaayyy more cinnamon than most recipes call for and I also use cloves, cardamom and ginger for an extra kick. So it really is a spice cake carrot cake. For the texture I also use shredded coconut along with the shredded carrots & pecans instead of walnuts. Crushed pineapple gives a light fruity hint and adds more moisture. And my favorite substitution is golden raisins and dried currants instead of regular raisins. All these ingredients come together in a magical explosion of fantastic flavor and texture! <<< Can you tell I am excited about this recipe!
Now what do you top off the perfect carrot cake with?
Never fear! I got you covered on that one too! As you probably know, carrot cake HAS to have a good cream cheese frosting. It’s goes agains the laws of nature to have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting, amiright?
But have you ever tried to make cream cheese frosting and ended up with a goopy, soft frosting that practically drips off the cake? Yea, that is just the nature of using cream cheese in frosting. BUT I have a little secret to tell you. You can make a beautiful light and fluffy cream cheese frosting that is pipeable and holds it’s shape!
How can I make a pipeable cream cheese frosting?
There are two secrets to this. Temperature and mixing time. As you know, cream cheese will soften as it warms and comes to room temperature. And it seems like common sense that you would want your cream cheese soft so it’s easier to mix with the butter and sugar. In fact almost all cream cheese frosting recipes you find call for softened cream cheese! But that is when you end up with a sloppy mess. Keep your cream cheese COLD, it will stay much more firm and not separate so easily. You can soften the butter but DO NOT soften the cream cheese.
The next critical factor is mixing time. When cream cheese is mixed it becomes soft and goopy. When mixing cream cheese you start separating the liquids from the solids and the cream cheese tends to separate. So DON’T over mix! I find it best to make it in a food processor. This allows quick mixing and incorporating of the ingredients without over mixing.
Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting versus Swiss Meringue Cream Cheese Buttercream
I have two versions of cream cheese frosting. The base recipe is the ultra rich creamy one that I sometimes use for a cake filling. It’s quite sweet so I prefer to use a lighter version. SO I mix this base recipe with a batch of my Swiss meringue buttercream for a wonderfully light and fluffy cream cheese buttercream that is the perfect match for my Carrot Cake recipe. You will need a batch of my Swiss Meringue Buttercream for this. Here is my recipe for the perfect >> Cream Cheese Frosting<< recipe to top off my perfect Carrot Cake.
When you pair my carrot cake recipe with my cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream recipe magic happens! Ask my husband, it’s his all time favorite cake that I make. And he gets to taste A LOT of cake!
Pin recipe for later >>> https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342344009169516780/
Have A Sweet Day!
Check out my other cake and buttercream recipes!
Rich & Decadent Cappuccino Cake
Fresh Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
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|Prep Time||1.5 hours|
|Cook Time||45 minutes|
|Passive Time||2 hours|
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple well drained
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- pre-heat oven to 350°F
- Grease and flour two 8" cake pans and put a parchment circle in the bottom of the pan
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside
- In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs; beat well
- Stir in flour mixture: mix well
- Stir in carrots, pineapple, raisins, currants, coconut and pecans
- pour batter into pans
- Bake at 350° for approximately 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.