This moist and dense Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is one of the best carrot cakes you will ever taste, the cream cheese icing is simply amazing!Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
This is my favourite recipe for Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting. It is by far the most delicious carrot cake I've ever tasted. The cake is moist and dense and the cream cheese frosting has a nice tang to it which makes this cake taste absolutely amazing!
This recipe is adapted from Canadian Living's Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I've made this carrot cake from Canadian Living several times and I always get so many compliments for it.
Though the recipe is amazing, I always like to see if I can make a dessert healthier without sacrificing the taste or texture of the cake.
I substituted half of the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour, which is great for using in cakes and muffins. Second, I reduced some of the granulated sugar and added an unrefined sweetener. I used pure maple syrup because the flavour works perfectly in this cake. Finally, I added some unsweetened shredded coconut to the cake.
All my taste testers found my healthier version of the carrot cake just as delicious as the original. But you can judge for yourself, here is the original recipe for the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from Canadian Living.
If you love carrot cake but want something easier and quicker to make and with fewer calories take a look at this Carrot Muffin recipe for muffins made with carrot purée. If you prefer to use grated carrots, these Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins and this Healthy Carrot Bread are both delicious and healthy recipes!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ pure maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil or other light tasting oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1 cup drained canned crushed pineapple
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
- 8 oz. package regular cream cheese One package brick-style, softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream you can also use milk or half & half cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups icing sugar**
For the cake:
- Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans or one 9×13 inch cake pan.
- In a large bowl, combine both flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
- In another bowl, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup, eggs and oil, until there are no more lumps.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a large spoon until evenly incorporated.
- Add the grated carrots, crushed pineapple, shredded coconut and pecans.
- Divide the batter evenly into the two round pans or the one rectangular pan depending on what you prefer. Spread the top so it’s smooth.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 28 to 30 minutes, for the 8 inch round pans and about 35 to 40 minutes for the larger 9×13 inch pan.
- Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes and then run a knife around them before inverting the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
For the Frosting:
- In the bowl of your mixer, on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, beat for 1 more minute then add the salt and one cup of icing sugar at a time until you have the desired consistency, I used 4 cups of icing sugar.
- The cake can be baked a day ahead of time and frosted on the day of serving. Once frosted keep the cake refrigerated.
- When making layered cakes I always like to weigh my pans so that I know I have the same amount of batter in each, this way you get even layers.
- I find that when using the icing for a layered cake it is better to add more icing sugar to have a stiffer icing which holds better on the sides of the cake. However, if you are serving this cake in a 9×13 inch pan, 3 cups of icing sugar is sufficient for the frosting.