Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. I have to admit over the years I haven’t gotten any awards for master cake baker, but for some reason, I can make a killer carrot cake. Maybe its because there’s a vegetable involved. That’s why I think this is the best carrot cake!
I scrolled through some carrot cake recipes, and they made me have some “wow” eyes. You know….. what in the world are people putting in their cakes eyes. I didn’t see one recipe that didn’t have a cup or MORE of vegetable oil, and no, a cup of vegetable oil will not give you a serving of vegetables for the day, but it could give you inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer!
I kept scrolling. Most recipes had a least 2 cups of sugar in the cake! One recipe had 8 cups of powdered sugar in the icing! What!?! I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that must have been a typo…..
Now, this best carrot cake isn’t sugar-free or healthy food, but this recipe has NO oil and only a little over a cup of sugar in the cake! It also has 2 cups of carrots in this carrot cake! Carrots are super healthy!
Some benefits of carrots:
- Carrots give your immune system a boost with all that vitamin C.
- Carrots have vitamin A which can help prevent wrinkles and make your eyes strong, yay!
- Carrots have anti-cancer properties because of the beta-carotene.
- Carrots have dietary fiber which can help aid in digestion!
Tips on perfecting carrot cake
I like to leave the mixer in the cabinet for this carrot cake. I whisk all the wet ingredients together including the coconut, carrots, and nuts. After that I whisk together the dry ingredients to make sure all the rising agents and spices get incorporated in. Then, just mix the dry into the wet with a wooden spoon and divide evenly into the oiled cake pans.
Make sure the cakes are completely cool before you attempt to take them out of the pans. I like to use a rubber spatula and run it along the edges of the cake to allow the carrot cake to come out more easily.
Before you ice the cakes be sure that the cakes have no warmth left and are completely cool. If you would like to ice the sides of the cake along with the top and between, you should double the icing recipe.
We all deserve a delicious treat, but when we do, let’s make them quality, and use the best ingredients available to us! We are worth it!
For other yummy treats try my Apple Cinnamon Rolls!
Best Carrot Cake
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 large Zest and juice of one orange
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup pecans or walnut pieces
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder aluminum-free
- 1 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of both ground ginger and nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Icing (double this recipe to ice whole cake including sides)
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Oil 2 round cake pans (I use refined coconut oil) and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grate carrots
- In a medium bowl mix together with a whisk, carrots, applesauce, eggs, sugar, orange zest and juice, coconut, and walnut pieces. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
- With a wooden spoon, mix dry ingredients into wet. Mix really well making sure everything is incorporated.
- Pour into cake pans, dividing evenly into each pan.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- While cakes are cooling make the icing.
- Let cream cheese and butter soften at room temp.
- In a medium bowl with a mixer, mix all icing ingredients until whipped and smooth.
- Wait until cakes cool completely, then ice cakes as pictured.
- Top with crushed nuts and fresh thyme if desired.
- See notes for decorating.
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