I take my carrot cake very seriously, and I only serve up the best! This carrot snack cake is adapted from my all-time favorite recipe for homemade carrot cake from scratch. It's moist, perfectly spiced, and simply to die for. Plus this recipe includes not one but two toppings to choose from: classic cream cheese frosting or a unique and luscious orange citrus glaze.
Carrot cake is hands down one of my favorite cakes of all time. It's supremely moist, speckled with just a hint of texture (thanks to finely chopped nuts), and full of fresh, spiced flavor. I've lost track of how many times I've had carrot cake as my birthday cake, and I know I'm not alone in my love of this cake. I've adapted this carrot snack cake from the carrot cake recipe that I grew up on, and, while I eaten lots of different carrot cakes in my lifetime, this recipe is by far the best. And if you think you don't like carrot cake (does this type of person even exist?), I promise this carrot snack cake will change your mind!
This carrot snack cake is seriously simple to make, yet it packs big flavor and is 100% impressive enough to earn a spot on your Easter table! It takes just 30 minutes to whip up the batter, and, once the cake has baked and cooled, it's incredibly simple to decorate. Forget stacking layers or creating intricate designs with frosting; let the flavor and texture of this cake steal the show.
How to Make Moist Carrot Cake from Scratch
Making a perfectly-flavored, deliciously-moist carrot cake from scratch is easier than you think! This recipe requires simple ingredients and is mixed together by hand, no stand mixer necessary.
- We'll start by whisking together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ground cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, we'll combine flavorless oil (I recommend vegetable oil) and sugar. Oil is what makes this cake moist and tender, and is usually the fat of choice for dense, flavorful cake recipes. If you prefer you can substitute the same amount of unsweetened applesauce, though the resulting cake with be slightly less moist than one made with oil.
- Next we'll alternate adding the flour mixture and eggs to the oil mixture, stirring until all the ingredients are blended.
- Lastly, we'll add freshly grated carrots and finely chopped pecans. You can substitute chopped walnuts, if you prefer, but I do not recommend using pre-grated carrots. Freshly grated carrots will provide a lot more moisture for the batter, yielding a cake with a supremely moist crumb.
- This carrot snack cake can be baked in a 9 inch round cake pan or an 8 inch square pan - you decide! The bake time is the same for each of these pans, and you'll know the cake is finished baking when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs (but no raw batter).
TWO Options for Topping Your Carrot Snack Cake
In addition to two different cake pan shapes/sizes to choose from, I'm giving you TWO totally delicious yet very different options for topping your carrot snack cake:
- Cream Cheese Frosting - There's a reason that cream cheese frosting is almost always paired with carrot care. It's velvety smooth texture, lightly sweet and slightly tangy flavor, and delightful richness are the perfect complement to the moist, flavorful cake. This classic cream cheese frosting uses 5 simple ingredients, takes less than 10 minutes to make, and is ultra creamy. Make sure you bring the cream cheese and butter to room temperature before you begin for perfectly smooth frosting.
- Orange Citrus Glaze - If you're looking to put a unique spin on carrot cake with an unconventional yet crowd-pleasing glaze, look no further! This orange citrus glaze is the perfect flavor complement to the spiced carrot cake, and it has a lighter mouthfeel than rich cream cheese frosting. I actually grew up eating carrot cake with this citrus glaze, and I'm certain it will be a hit!
Add this recipe to your springtime baking list STAT!Print
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