Monday, November 3, 2014

The Best Ever Simple Carrot Cake with Cheesecake Frosting

The Best Ever Simple Carrot Cake with Cheesecake Frosting.... Simplified.  One Bowl, One Whisk, One incredible sheet cake! The cheesecake frosting really takes this old favorite over the top. This is one recipe to print and tuck in your file box.

My best friend YaYa celebrated her birthday last week.  Of course I bake her a cake every year for her birthday.  I have made a few different ones, but now she always hints that she wants my Carrot Cake with Toasted Pecans (pictured below).  I can't blame her, it is a magnificent cake.  Gorgeous and scrumptious.

The Best Ever Carrot Cake with Toasted Pecans
But lately I have been really exhausted and the thought of preparing cake pans and washing all the bowls did not appeal to me in the least.  So I decided to reinvent our favorite carrot cake. Simplify it, if you will. One bowl, one whisk, one sheet cake with a cream cheese frosting that tastes just like fluffy cheesecake. I mean really, who has time for sifting anyway?

Our guests raved all night that this was the best carrot cake they have ever eaten.  Chad and I have to agree.  The warmth of the cinnamon, ginger and vanilla really elevate the personality of the cake.  The carrots do not contribute much to the flavor of the cake, they help to moisten it and add some sweetness to it.

I remember the first time I made a carrot cake for Chad (my picky husband) he asked that I make it without the carrots.  OK, one spice cake coming up.  That is the best way to describe this insanely delicious carrot cake.  Now I fine grate the carrots and he loves it.  This cake tastes like a very moist spice cake with the most amazing cream cheese frosting you will ever eat! 

Happy Birthday YaYa!  With love from our kitchen to yours!

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The Best Ever Simple Carrot Cake with Cheesecake Frosting
adapted from The Best Ever Carrot Cake with Toasted Pecans
serves 12-18

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups fine grated carrots (I use a box grater)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract*
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare a 12x18 jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until well combined.  Sprinkle cinnamon, salt, baking soda and powder over top and whisk to combine. 

Add flour about ½ cup at a time and whisk until just combined.  Whisk in carrots.  Pour into prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes.

Allow cake to cool on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Beat on medium-low until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and beat until combined. 

Frost cake and sprinkle with nuts.  Serve and enjoy.

*COOK’S NOTE:  To make the frosting a little fancier, use 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or the 3 vanilla bean in place of the extract.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian 
Copyright ©2013 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

Originally published 10/2/13


  1. For once..a simple recipe for carrot cake..i have everything except nutmeg though..lets see if this works out this weekend

  2. okay you win! LOL! It really does look like the best carrot cake ever!


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