I love carrot cake. A few years ago, back when I used to live in New York, I used to think, who eats carrot cake? That’s so weird. Carrot in a cake? No. Then I tried it one day at someone’s birthday celebration at the office (that was a thing, and I miss it) and I realized how good it is. Perfectly sweet, moist, nutty, spicy, cream cheese frosting – so many good things rolled into one.
I’ve experimented with a few different recipes for carrot cake, including a much “healthier” version with just almond flour and honey as a sweetener. I didn’t enjoy that particular one didn’t as much because the almond flour doesn’t stand up to the weight of carrots as well as all-purpose flour of course. I also found that I just don’t like honey as a sweetener in baked goods – it doesn’t work for me. So I went with a classic, “normal” cake – I haven’t tried to swap out any of the flour for different grains. All the ingredients are ones you’ll have ready in your pantry. Dec 2016 Update: I made this cake once again, swapping in a good amount of whole wheat flour and oat flour as well. I also increased the carrot content to make the cake even more moist. All the details are updated in the recipe.
Of course carrot cake can be made with or without cream cheese frosting but I find that it adds so much to it. You can serve it with or without the frosting. This recipe is very easy to make – the hardest part is grating the carrots and waiting for it to cool. I’ve used several different Indian cream cheese brands including the more recently launched Go Almette and Mooz. Just make sure the cream cheese you’re using is as fresh as possible and bought from a place you can trust in terms of keeping the product chilled (sour cream cheese frosting is no good).
Are you a carrot cake fan? Let me know what you think of this recipe if you make it – leave a note or tag me on Instagram @theindiaedition!
- 60g all purpose flour, 30g whole wheat flour, 30g oat flour OR 120g all-purpose flour
- 100g sugar
- 90ml olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 200g grated carrots
- 75g chopped walnuts (approx ¾ cup), optional
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¾ tsp vanilla powder or essence
- A pinch of salt
- Ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, etc (optional, see notes)
- Raisins, coconut, pecans (optional, see notes)
- 115g or 4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 30g butter, softened
- 60-80g icing sugar
- A pinch/few drops of vanilla powder/essence
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until fluffy and combined.
- Add the oil and beat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the grated carrot, sift in the flour, add baking powder and salt and stir till combined. Be careful not to overmix and use a folding action while mixing to incorporate air into the cake.
- Finally, stir in the nuts gently and any other add-ins.
- In a greased 8 inch/20cm pan, pour in the mixture. Bake for 35 mins at 180C or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Beat the butter, cream cheese and half the sugar until creamy. Add the remaining sugar and vanilla until well-combined. Taste the frosting and add additional sugar as desired.
- Frost the cooled cake and place in a refrigerator to allow the frosting to set.