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Ultimate Carrot Cake
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5 from 4 votes

Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake - This 1970's carrot cake is unforgettable!  It's the ultimate dessert because it's Perfect for Easter!
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, carrot, carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, easter
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Kim Lange


Ultimate Carrot Cake

  • 1 cup pecans 4 ounces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste)
  • 4 large eggs room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and coarsely shredded

Ultimate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste)
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 -4 tablespoon whipping cream or milk
  • 1 - 2 large pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 9-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the paper and flour the pans.
  • Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool and finely chop the pecans.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  • Using mixer, in another large bowl beat the eggs and sugar at high speed approximately 5 minutes until pale in color.
  • Beat in the liquid ingredients.
  • Beat in the dry ingredients just until moistened, then stir in the carrots and pecans.
  • Divide the batter between the pans and bake the cakes for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until springy and golden. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then unmold the cakes and let cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla, salt, then ½ of the confectioners' sugar; beat at low speed until incorporated, then add rest of powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of whipping cream.  Increase the speed to high and beat until smooth and creamy.  
  • Peel off the parchment paper and invert one cake layer onto a plate. Spread with a slightly rounded cup of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer, right side up. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting and refrigerate the cake until chilled, about 1 hour.
  • Slice and serve.


Other stuff:
I like to freeze the cakes until I'm ready to frost the cake. When ready, take them out and let them thaw and prepare the frosting.  Then frost and store in a seal container.
Carrot cakes in general tastes better with time, to allow for the components to infuse and flavors interwine. You can prepare the cake several hours ahead or even a day in advance. 
If making a day ahead, once made you can store in the fridge under a cake dome or in an airtight container.  Take out of the fridge at least 4 hours before serving and allow it to come to room temperature.  
To get the cake frosting texture effect.  Place frosting in a plastic pastry bag and snip a large hole about an ½ inch or use a large ziplock bag snipping hole.
Start with piping the frosting out on the bottom layer cake and pipe around the border of the cake and then fill in with frosting continue piping until filled.
Add top of cake on top of the frosting and then start repeat frosting like the 1st layer.
Pipe a border around the bottom of the cake and then contine piping all the way around the cake starting from the bottom and working your way to the top.
Take a long handled spatula or rounded knife and smooth out the frosting as much as you want by working left to right in mid to small strokes using tip of spatula to get desired feathered effect.