Okay, here it is…the recipe for my carrot cake that everyone loves. The recipe for carrot cake that I’ve been promising for so long. The recipe for carrot cake that whenever someone asks me to make a cake for them, 90% of the time it’s this cake. The recipe that people always say it’s the best carrot cake they’ve ever had. The recipe that I’ve made so often, I can do it in my sleep! And the recipe that was the base for what I made on the TV baking competition and won round one with – so actually, I can officially say this cake is a winner.
Raisins are controversial, so they don’t make an appearance in this carrot cake recipe. Also, walnuts are optional due to allergies or I usually am doing something else with them instead of mixing them into the cake, so you decide if you want them in or out.
The recipe is enough to make a cake with a 9″x 13″ pan, two 9-inch round cake pans, or 24-ish regular sized cupcakes – so make whatever fits your occasion! As a bonus, I’m also adding my cream cheese frosting recipe that I pair with it.
Pixie’s Famous Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups shredded carrots (approximately 3 medium sized carrots)
- 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare your pans by buttering and flouring them, or spraying them with nonstick spray and lining with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
- In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until combined and no dry spots are left – please note the dough will be thick and hard to mix and look nothing like cake batter, but this is correct!
- Stir in the shredded carrots and pineapple (and walnuts if using) until well combined. This is the step that’s magic and makes it cake batter.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pans. If you’re using a 9×13″ pan, bake it for 50 – 60 minutes. If you’re using 9-inch round pans, bake it for 35-40 minutes. If you’re making cupcakes, bake them for 25-30 minutes. When they’re done, a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle should come out clean with maybe a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
- Let cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
- Frost and decorate as desired!
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8oz regular cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar, plus more if needed
- Milk as needed for consistency
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt until well combined – at least 2 minutes.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix until fluffy (at least 5 minutes).
- If the frosting is too thick for your liking, add in a tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
- If you add too much milk, or the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
- You can either pipe or spread it onto your fully cooled cakes.
This carrot cake should be stored in the fridge, but brought to room temperature about 30 minutes before eating. It can be left out for a couple of hours before it should be popped back into the fridge again.