This is a beautiful carrot cake that you can make for birthdays and other celebrations. The cake is very sturdy yet is light and full of flavor!
It’s been a hot minute since I last made a carrot cake. I have a favorite recipe but the carrots tend to turn green due to the baking soda (and yes, that’s a thing). My husband saw this recipe in a cookbook that I borrowed from the library and asked if I could make it for him.
While the cake in this recipe isn’t as moist as the recipe above, it’s still very good. I would recommend adding some additional spices like nutmeg and maybe a little bit of ginger, cloves or allspice to bump up the flavor profile. The cake itself is sturdy and doesn’t fall apart while frosting, so that is an added bonus.
My husband commented that the icing on this cake was better than most. The one difference between this frosting recipe and other cream cheese frostings is that this one contained a bit of corn syrup. For whatever reason, the corn syrup helped the frosting stay together better and give it a bit of extra flavor as well.
Unfortunately, I learned that Addie isn’t a big fan of carrot cake (maybe because there are too many vegetables?). Perhaps she will come around as she gets older, but in the meantime, it just means more cake for my husband and I!
Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
- 1 cup (210 grams) egg whites from about 6-7 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk room temperature (I used 1% milk)
- ¼ cup (60 grams) canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream room temperature (I omitted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (426 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch ground cloves
- 12 Tablespoons (1 and ½ sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups finely grated carrots
Cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- pinch salt
- 4 and ½ cups (540 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Make the cake
- Preheat your oven 350°F. Generously grease and line three 8-inch round pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together the egg whites, milk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cloves using a rubber spatula (otherwise, you will have dry ingredients flying everywhere if you turn the mixer on!).
- Add the butter one Tablespoon at a time and slowly turn the mixer to low.
- Slowly stream in about half of the liquid ingredients. Then turn the mixer to medium speed until everything looks uniform.
- Turn the mixer back to low speed. Add the remaining liquid ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and mix for another 20 seconds. Your batter will look lumpy, and that is OK and what we expect.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the grated carrots by hand.
- Evenly distribute the batter into your 3 prepared pans and bake in your preheated oven for 30-36 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the corn syrup and salt and mix well.
- Decrease the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium and keep mixing until the frosting is smooth and lump-free, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
Assemble the cake
- Place one cake layer (flat side down) on a cake plate or cake stand. Top with about ½ cup of frosting. Add another cake layer on top (making sure to cut off the domed part if one formed during baking). Add another ½ cup of frosting on top.
- Finally, top with the third cake layer, flat side down. Frost the top and sides lightly with the frosting. Place in the refrigerator to allow the crumb coat to set (harden), about 30-60 minutes.
- Frost the top and sides again with the remaining frosting. Garnish as desired and slice and serve.