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Moist Carrot Cake

Posted by Mimi on 16 May 2010

Moist Carrot Cake

I’ve been intending to post this recipe since God-knows-when but have been putting it off for one simple reason: I didn’t have any step-by-step photos to post with it. Hence, my photo of a slice of this delectably moist carrot cake will have to do for now.

This cake is very easy to make and has always gotten me compliments every time I make it. (I even got orders for this cake! But I always have to turn them down because I don’t have the time to do it.) The only hard part is grating the carrots. After you’ve done that, everything else is a breeze.

Moist Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
•    4 eggs
•    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
•    1 cup white sugar
•    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    2 cups all-purpose flour
•    2 teaspoons baking soda
•    2 teaspoons baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    3 cups carrots, grated coarsely
•    1 handful walnuts, chopped coarsely (quantity can be increased, to taste)
•    1 handful of raisins (or to taste – don’t put too much: it will make the cake too sweet)


Ingredients for the frosting:

•    1/2 cup butter, softened
•    8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 box Philadelphia cream cheese or 1 tube of Tatura cream cheese)
•    2-4 cups confectioners’ sugar (TIP: start with 2 cups sugar; add sugar bit by bit if not sweet enough; 4 cups is too sweet for me; I usually use only 2)
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 round pans & line sides and bottom of pan with baking paper. (I don’t like the taste of the flour, so I don’t grease & flour my baking tins anymore.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in carrots.
  5. Fold in walnuts and raisins.
  6. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  2. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Frost the cooled cake.

IMPORTANT: The key to a moist carrot cake is baking it until just cooked, i.e. when you stick a toothpick in the centre, it comes out clean. I never really time my baking. I just wait for the a strong, yummy aroma to waft out of the oven. That usually signals that the cake’s done. Take a peek inside the oven; if the top of the cake looks set, open the oven and stick a toothpick in the centre. If some batter sticks to the toothpick, that means the cake is not ready yet. Close the oven door and wait for a few minutes. Remember: the longer the cake stays in the oven, the drier it gets.

Oh, and as for softening the butter and the cream cheese, just leave it out at room temperature for half an hour or so. Never put it in the microwave.

Finally, make sure the cake has cooled completely before  you frost it. Otherwise, the cream cheese frosting will melt.

Garnish the top of the cake with almond slivers, if desired.

This recipe is based on Carrot Cake III from allrecipes.com. Here are the tweaks that I’ve made on the recipe over the years:

  1. I halve the sugar from 2 cups to just 1 cup, as I found the original recipe way to sweet for my (and most Malaysians’) taste.
  2. Since pecans cost a small fortune in Malaysia and are quite difficult to find, I substitute it with chopped walnuts.
  3. I add some raisins for added texture and flavour.
  4. I cut down the ground cinnamon from 2 teaspoons to just 1 teaspoon, as the children found the original recipe too overpowering.
  5. I also halve the confectioner’s sugar used for the frosting.
  6. I use 2 baking tins and make it a 2-layer cake, to cut down on the baking time. [NB: Cake slice in the photo only shows a single layer.]

Selamat mencuba! (Good luck!) :)

40 Responses to Moist Carrot Cake

  1. avril

    I just want to eat, not to bake:-)

  2. leez

    HI! Thanks for sharing the tips. I got this recipe too form the allrecipes.com. ,but have yet to try it out. I have another recipe though, cant remember its site, and the ingredients include dry coconut and canned pineapple. Do you think it will taste as good if i do away with raisins and add those 2 ingredients? Send me your answer to my email ok? at leez_abdullah@yahoo.com. Thanks and Happy baking fren!

  3. witsandnuts

    Woohoooo! Thank for sharing, Mimi. Another kitchen secret. Will take note of the tips. =)

  4. sheng

    Wow, heheh…i love cakes but my lack of the oven does not allow me to pratice, soon, i guess…

  5. Mimi

    avril: ok, will make u some soon :)

    leez: i suppose dried coconut & pineapple would still work. it’s just a matter of preference, i guess. i like walnuts bec they give texture and they’re not sweet. raisins also add texture but a contrasting one. the cake is fine as it is, ie without the walnuts and raisins.

    witsandnuts: nah, it’s no secret. afterall, it’s based on a recipe that i found on the web :)

    sheng: growing up, my mom used to bake using a small oven that you place on top of a gas stove. i learned how to cook that way. i wonder if we can still find such ovens in the philippines today. i found one in indonesia a long time ago. if only it’s not so cumbersome, i’d love to buy one for old time’s sake!

  6. Yellow Bells

    I am gonna try this recipe, thanks a lot. one of my colleague is really into carrot cake, it will be a good gift idea for her bithday. It will surely be a hit for my family one way to make my young one eat carrots. she only eat green not yellow or orange. you get what i mean? :)

  7. shikin

    Hi Mimi.. I have tried ur moist carrot cake recipe last Sunday, and you know what… i’ve made it!… my hubby and children really loves it. I didn’t add any raisins but still get good result. Thank you for sharing… really appreciate it.

  8. Mimi

    Shikin: The carrot cake is very easy to make, right? Glad your family enjoyed it :)

  9. Shakilah

    Hello! It happened that ur carrot cake recipe is almost the same with my mom…
    my mom is half Filipina too… her grandfather is from Iloilo
    Nice viewing all ur recipe.. its wonderful… =D

  10. velle

    very easy to make! :) thanks for sharing :) just baked a cake tonight, tomorrow will continue with frosting :)

  11. velle

    *the cake :)

  12. Mimi

    Velle: Good to know that! :)

  13. azreen

    hi can u please explain why both baking soda and baking powder is needed for this recipe? do they serve different purpose? can i make moist carrot cake without the baking soda, instead just use baking powder instead?

    Thanks!!

  14. Mimi

    Azreen: I’m not sure either. But it’s quite common for many cake recipes to use both. The other option would be to use self-raising flour and getting rid of the baking soda and baking powder altogether.

    Baking is quite an exact science. There’s a reason why ingredients are required in the specified amounts. And I don’t usually dare to change a recipe for cakes/breads.

  15. CLK

    I have skipped the walnut but added in some dried coconut and the cake is awesome. I tried bake it yesterday and it turned out great. I think it taste best when it served chill. But I think 2 cups of icing sugar on the cream cheese frosting is slightly too sweet for me, will reduce it for next time baking.

  16. Mimi

    CLK: That’s a great idea. I ought to try that, knowing that I have half a bag of dessicated coconut in my pantry!

  17. CLK

    Mimi, I used half a cup of dessicated coconut. Thanks for sharing this yum yum and easy recipe

  18. Mimi

    CLK: Thanks for the tip. Haven’t had time to try it yet. Will do it soon, perhaps during the upcoming long weekend!

  19. shyamala

    i was looking for the receipe for carrot cake
    and i think yours is the most practical one…
    thumbs up

  20. erlina

    based on the changes you made on Carrot Cake III from allrecipes.com, can i use 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar? how will it taste like? :)

  21. Mimi

    Erlina: Brown sugar is always less sweet than white sugar. Rasanya boleh kot, given that the cream cheese frosting is quite sweet. It depends on your personal preference on the sweetness level.

  22. Mimi

    Shyamala: I’m a lazy cook and always try to find the easiest version of a recipe without compromising on taste hehe ;)

  23. Vanessa

    Hi

    Just went thru your recipe, looks and sounds gr8. Just 1 query, can I use powdered sugar instead of whole white sugar whilst mixing with the eggs, oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Since whole sugar takes time to dissolve I thought of this method. Pls reply cause I want to try it out for New Year.

    Thanks

    Vanessa

  24. Mimi

    Vanessa: I’m so sorry for not having replied sooner! I’ve never used powdered sugar with my cakes before. But I suppose it will still be all right as long as you don’t pack the sugar into the measuring cup. I’ve used coarse granulated sugar with this recipe and the cake still came out okay.

  25. Vanessa

    Hi I tried out your cake on December 31st and it was exxxxxxcellent. It was really moist and my children really loved it.

    I did powder the sugar, added a pinch of nutmeg powder and 2 tbsp of milk since I found the batter a bit thick. But once I added the carrots, things just fell into place, and the batter was of the right consistency. I did the whole procedure in the night and the next morning we took it to the bakery to bake it. The walnuts and raisins really add to it. One last query if I do not add walnuts and raisins the next time I make it will it be ok. The only slight hitch was that the cake was a bit oily. So next time if I try the cake, I think I might add 3/4 cup oil instead of one cup oil.

    Anyway Happy New Year and thanks for the cake.

  26. chieying

    Hi! Is it a must to add in cinnamon?If i didn’t use it,will the taste be affected?

    Thanks!=)

  27. Mimi

    Vanessa: Glad the cake turned out okay. You can always tweak the recipe to suit your family’s preferences :)

    Chieying: No, cinnamon is not a must. Of course, there will be a very slight difference in the aroma of the finished product. I personally find the smell of cinnamon very, very heady and appetising!

  28. N4b

    I tried out yesterday.it’s really wonderful.almost the same like secret recipe cakes.my hubby likes it very much. I also add some walnut and raisins. I always thought it difficult to bake a carrot cake, but yours it’s simple but delicious.thanks.

  29. Mimi

    N4b: Glad yr family enjoyed the cake. That’s me — the lazy cook, always on the lookout for quick and easy but delicious recipes ;)

  30. yukari

    hi.thank you very much for sharing this superb recipe.i have tried this and my mum love it.but…may i know why do my cake have the liquid soda taste?

  31. Mimi

    Maybe your baking soda and baking powder were not mixed well with the flour. To avoid this in the future, you can sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a separate bowl and give it a good stir before mixing with the other ingredients. Hope that works!

  32. terry

    dear mimi,
    is it possible to switch vegetable oil to butter?
    how would it affect the taste & moisture?
    thanks!

  33. Mimi

    Terry: I’ve never tried that before but consistency-wise, I foresee there will be a difference because butter contains some water. Maybe you can experiment then let us know? Hehe.

  34. Aaina R.

    I’ve tried this recipe, and it turn out great!! Its good that you’d reduced the amount for some ingredients such as sugar because apparently other ingredients such as carrot and raisin will help to burst out the sweetness of the cake.

  35. Mimi

    That’s true, Aaina. Most American recipes are too sweet for the Malaysian/Asian palate. I almost always adjust the sugar content.

  36. Malarvd

    Perfect recipe! My first time trying out a moist carrot cake recipe and Im so lucky to come across your wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing!!

  37. Cindy

    Hi! Thx for sharing this recipe! it is easy to bake and yummy. however, i also find the soda smell a bit too strong. could i reduce by 1/2 tsp?
    for raisins to ‘float’ instead of sunken to the bottom, we can coat the raisins with a bit of flour first. ;)

  38. Mimi

    Hi Cindy. Sometimes it can be resolved by sifting the baking soda together with the flour so that they’re mixed very evenly.

  39. elaine

    Can i add cherry instate of raisin?
    I wish 2 be like u have own career still got a litter space for yr own
    Can manage kid
    Is like wow!!
    Can u teach me how 2 do it….
    Pls email me
    Million thank

  40. leez

    Thank you very much for the very usetul tips Mimi….:))))

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