Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is wonderfully moist with the best cream cheese frosting.  Be sure to blend the wet ingredients in the food processor as it really makes a rich batter.  Store the leftovers in the refrigerator wrapped in foil and it will keep just as fresh for two days.
Plan Ahead Note: cream cheese and butter need to be softened to room temperature.
Course Dessert
Servings 12 squares


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-7 med. carrots trimmed and peeled
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar sifted


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray at 13" x 9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment.               
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with the large shredding disk, shred the carrots.
  • Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Wipe out the food processor and fit with the metal blade.
  • Process both the sugars with the eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds.  
  • With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.  Process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer.
  • Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.  
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time.
  • Cool the cake to room temperature on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
  • When the cake is cool, place cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer.
  • Add the confectioners sugar and beat well.
  • Invert the cake on a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper, then invert onto a serving platter and frost.  Cut into squares.


Recipe from Baking Illustrated Cookbook.