This one-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting delivers on a springtime staple in more manageable portions. It is sweet, spicy, and happily stuffed with carrots.
I won’t lie: Carrot cake is my absolute favourite cake in the entire world. If you asked me to choose a favourite cake, I wouldn’t say no to carrot cake, chocolate cake, banana cake, or even a really nice vanilla cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting (that sounds good right now).
Because of this, it’s about time this tiny site featured a recipe for a real carrot cake.
Oddly, I’ve posted recipes on here that resembled carrot cake, such as carrot cake scones and cinnamon rolls. But I’m changing that today because up until now, we didn’t have the authentic, strongly spiced, loaded with carrots carrot cake. Naturally, as a single-layer carrot cake.
A Simple Recipe for Carrot Cake
This miniature carrot cake is a contribution to my ongoing collection of one-layer cake recipes.
Although I enjoy cake, baking a double or triple layer cake when there are just two of us isn’t a good idea. Layer cakes are a tricky nuisance to deal with – all that stacking and spreading and crumb coats and turntables and frosting ratios….ugh. In addition to using excessive amounts of butter and sugar. After all that, there are only two of us left to devour the enormous cake, which is neither necessary nor advisable for anyone involved.
Hence, my preference for cakes with a single layer.
When researching this, I was a little startled to learn that there aren’t that many single layer cake recipes available. There are several single layer variants of traditional frosted cakes, although they aren’t very common. Examples are coffee cakes, yoghurt cakes, and traditional Italian cakes, which are all designed to be cooked in a springform pan (at least not that I found).
I’m more than willing to accept the challenge.
Your favourite layer cakes can easily be converted into single layer cakes, but you must have a strong sense of proportions. When I obtain results like this, I don’t mind completing all the arithmetic for you.
Why you’ll adore this cream cheese-frosted, one-layer carrot cake
This cake was really made for Brian’s 30th birthday last weekend, and we had no remorse eating it for breakfast in bed (with bacon on the side, YOLO). We loved carrot cake a little bit because it was also our wedding dessert.
What makes this single-layer carrot cake excellent, then?
There are tonnes of carrots in there. As opposed to most box mixes and commercially produced carrot cakes, this isn’t a namby-pamby spice cake that calls itself a carrot cake. No. With two complete cups of grated carrots in this dish, we’re getting the most carrot for our money.
Yes, the carrots must be grated. Sorry. Use a box grater; it really just takes a few minutes and is worthwhile (you only need a couple of carrots). It is feasible to grate them using a food processor, but make sure the pieces are really tiny so they can soften enough while baking.
Coconut is also present. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to add it. You’re going to adore this if you do like it.
The cake doesn’t need to be mixed. Just like I like it, this is a bowl and whisk operation. Although it’s best to whisk the dry and wet components separately before combining them, you can mix it all in one bowl and I won’t tell (I’ve done it).
Frosting, cheese, and cream. Must I say more?
Should you top the dish with chopped walnuts or pecans and grated carrots for decoration? Life is too short not to, I contend.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour is required for the carrot cake (measured via spoon and level method)
- A half-teaspoon of baking powder
- A half-teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/8 nutmeg teaspoon
- 0.5 teaspoons of salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 10 tablespoons
- 3/4 cup brown sugar in bags
- two huge eggs (room temperature preferable)
- 1-2 large carrots, grated into 2 cups, and 1/2 cup coconut, shredded (optional)
- 4 ounces of chilled cream cheese are needed for the cream cheese frosting.
- (1/2 stick = 1/4 cup) room temperature unsalted butter
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- One-half teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A dash of salt
- For decorating, add more grated carrots and/or chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
The carrot cake will be:
Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cake pan should be greased. To further ensure that the cake will come out without a mess, I also like to line the pan with parchment paper. Simply draw the outline of the pan’s bottom on a piece of parchment paper, cut it out, and then insert it.
Mix the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt—in a medium bowl. Place aside.
Melt the butter in a sizable bowl that can go in the microwave or on the burner (I prefer a glass bowl). Allow it to cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the brown sugar and then, one at a time, the eggs, until well incorporated.
Stir the dry ingredients together until there are no lumps left in the bowl after adding the wet ingredients.
To spread the carrots and coconut shreds equally, fold in.
When the cake springs back when touched and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, bake for 35 minutes after pouring the batter into the prepared pan and smoothing down the top.
After 10 minutes, turn the cake right side up onto a cake plate by inverting the pan onto the rack, releasing the cake, and removing the parchment from the bottom. While you make the icing, let the cake cool.
The cream cheese frosting is made of:
Cream cheese and butter should be beat at high speed for two to three minutes in a large basin using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. To make the mixture light and fluffy, you want to add as much air as you can. Salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar should be added at this point, and the mixture should be thoroughly blended and light.
Spread cream cheese icing over the cooled cake. A thick layer should form, and an offset spatula can be used to swirl it in attractive patterns (I like this one).
If desired, garnish the cake’s outside edges with extra grated carrots and chopped walnuts or pecans. Serve!
Cake will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator when well-wrapped. To reheat leftover cake, I like to microwave it on 50% power for 20 seconds.
*I used a box grater to manually shred the carrots, which sounds like a lot of effort but doesn’t take very long because you only need a few large carrots to make 2 cups of grated carrots. They can also be coarsely grated in a food processor, but you must do so else the cake may not bake with enough softening.