The Best Carrot Cake is a cinnamon flavored cake filled with shredded carrots, sweet coconut and topped with the most heavenly almond-scented cream cheese frosting! This cake truly is the best and is so simple without any nuts or fruit.
This carrot cake is the perfect spring dessert to serve after any barbecue, potluck or Easter Sunday dinner. The cake itself is very moist and dense, but every forkful is oh so soft and basically melts in your mouth! The flavor is simple and not too overpowering, with most of its flavoring coming from the cinnamon, coconut and carrots.
That’s right, no nuts, fruits, or crazy additives in this cake. Just simple ingredients for a beautifully textured cake that tastes amazing!
What really brings this cake together is the rich cream cheese frosting slathered on top and in between the two layers. To take things to the next level, the frosting is given a decadent almond flavor that can’t help but make your mouth water!
I really do take saying recipes of mine are ‘the best’ very lightly, so just know I am very serious when I say that this is The Best Carrot Cake! But don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself, and you’ll see exactly why I’ve deemed it the best! 😉
CAN THIS RECIPE BE TURNED INTO CUPCAKES?
It most certainly can! Place 24 cupcake liners in cupcake pans. Make the batter then fill about 2/3 of the way in the cupcake liners. Start by baking them at 15 minutes. If the tester inserted does not come out clean, then bake for another few minutes and test again. Make sure you allow the cupcakes to cool at least ten minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
TIPS TO TRULY MAKE THE BEST CARROT CAKE
Here’s a few simple tips I like to keep in mind when baking this cake!
- Mix the wet and the dry ingredients separately. This ensures all the ingredients are blended smoothly; mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in another. Then fold them together (using a rubber spatula) until they are fully combined and no more flour streaks can be seen. Then gently fold in the carrots and coconut after.
- Separate the batter evenly into two cake pans: This is so that the cakes bake faster and so you can layer them (I love the classy, simple look of a layered cake). Add a nice, thick layer of frosting in between and on top.
- Use freshly grated carrots: No pre-packaged shredded carrots for this cake. Those are usually dried out and wont taste as good. For the most moist cake, I recommend getting 5 large carrots and peeling then grating them.
The nice thing about this cake is that it’s very versatile, meaning you can customize it however you’d like!
- Nuts & Fruit: I know the whole point of this cake is the simplicity of it and the lack of all that extra nonsense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add it in! For those of you who like pecans, walnuts, raisins or pineapple in your carrot cake, go for it! I would add about ½ cup.
- Frosting: if you don’t like almond-scented frosting, then simply omit the almond extract! You’ll still get a decadent cream cheese frosting, just without that hint of almond.
- Ginger & nutmeg: While I don’t use either of these in my cake, I know a lot of other carrot cake recipes call for it. The ginger adds a little zing into the cake and just that extra flavor, so if you prefer it, add it on in! I would only add ¼ to a ½ teaspoon.
HOW TO STORE THE BEST CARROT CAKE
I like to store this cake wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. It keeps it nice and cold for up to 5 days! But it’s also a must to store it in the fridge, because of the cream cheese frosting.
If you like this tasty cake recipe, then you’ll love these other ones!
Oreo Pudding Poke Cake: a chocolate cake soaked with Oreo pudding and topped with fluffy whipped cream and crushed Oreos!
Lemon Loaf Cake: a dense and moist lemon flavored cake covered in a simple yet decadent lemon glaze!
Raspberry Cream Cake: a moist and delicious white cake with a whipped cream cheese layer and raspberry glaze topping!
Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting: a delicious, moist coconut cake with two cake layers covered in a silky smooth coconut frosting.
The Best Carrot Cake
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups freshly grated carrots (peel first before grating) (about 5 large carrots
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- FOR THE ALMOND-SCENTED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 5 Tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- FOR THE CAKE: Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.In a large bowl mix together sugar, oil and eggs with a hand mixer, on low speed, until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the carrots and coconut.
- Divide batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the cake edges with a knife. Carefully invert each layer by placing another rack directly over the layer and turning upside down. Tap on the pan to loosen the cake onto rack. Cool cakes completely on the racks.
- ALMOND-SCENTED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with a hand mixer, on low speed, until well-blended and smooth enough to frost cake with.
- TO FROST CAKE: Place one layer top side down on a cake plate/platter. Spread top with half of the frosting. Place second layer on top, top-side down. Frost top of cake with remaining frosting. (I don't frost the sides because I love the look of it.)Slice cake and serve! Cover and store leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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