Turn your calorie counter off. Forget what a carb is for just a little while. Our Favorite Carrot Cake recipe is worth the indulgence. Savor every bite of this moist and perfectly spiced cake! This layered cake recipe is loaded with shredded carrots, fresh chopped pineapple, coconut and pecans. Between each layer is a little wow-factor, and of course, the very best cream cheese frosting ever. Seriously, this cake is heaven. If your idea of heaven is pigging out on a super rich, super moist, over the top carrot cake.
This is absolutely, without a doubt, hands down Our Favorite Carrot Cake recipe.
Not going to lie, this recipe is quite a bit of work. But it is worth every minute you spend lovingly creating this dessert masterpiece. This recipe has been pieced together over the years from a recipe here, a tweak there, and a few adjustments.
[clickToTweet tweet="Seriously, this cake is heaven. If your idea of heaven is pigging out on a super rich, super moist, over the top carrot cake." quote="Seriously, this cake is heaven. If your idea of heaven is pigging out on a super rich, super moist, over the top carrot cake." theme="style3"]
First things first, you've gotta get your cake pans ready. (We used Wilton aluminum 9 inch cake pans for this recipe.)
In addition to buttering or spraying the pans, you will also need to line each pan with parchment paper. Then spray the parchment paper. (If you don't, you will be eating cake directly from the pan.) Trust me. I know these things.
To get perfect circles for the bottom of your cake pans, see below. Just fold a square piece of parchment in half, then in half again. Fold into a triangle shape, place on the pan for a guide, cut, and unfold.
Now on to the cake! Cake, cake, cake!! (Sorry I get too excited.)
To get the perfectly spiced carrot cake, we used a combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground allspice. These spices blend perfectly to give your carrot cake the perfect base flavor.
Then we load up with the fun stuff. This is not a bland and dry cake. No sir. We use hand-shredded carrots for big texture. If you like a more refined texture, you can grate the carrots into smaller pieces.
But to me, the big secret to a moist carrot cake isn't the carrots. It is the pineapple. FRESH (not canned), chopped pineapple. The flavor pairs perfectly with the carrots and spiced cake.
For extra sweetness and texture, we fold in coconut flake and chopped pecans. (This is like the ultimate cake for spring. ....or fall. Or tomorrow. Up to you.)
Join us in our Crusade to Satisfy our Sweet Tooth:
Once the layers are baked (you can use two...we opted for 3 small layers) it is time for the wow-factor. This Buttermilk Glaze is amazing, and we found the idea from Southern Living. When you are making this glaze, it will start foaming in the pan and you are thinking "what in the world have I done, I can't put this on my cake!?!"
Just do it. Pour the glaze evenly on top of each layer while the cake is still warm in the cake pans. This glaze gives the cake extra moisture and an amazing caramel-butterscotch flavor that you won't be able to resist.
Love this cake? You may also enjoy my Grandmama's 7-Up Cake!
The cake will absorb the sugary browned glaze like a sponge.
Once the layers are cool, CAREFULLY remove and cool completely. Then assemble and frost!
Of course you have to use our Very Best Cream Cheese Frosting. While most cream cheese frostings have a tendency to separate and "melt" at room temperature, this one is perfect for decorating. (Plus it has that classic creamy, buttery cream cheese flavor that is perfect with Our Favorite Carrot Cake.)
Click here to get the recipe-->THE VERY BEST CREAM CHEESE FROSTING.
Our Favorite Carrot Cake
For the Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups shredded carrot
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup flaked coconut
For the Buttermilk Glaze
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 TB light corn syrup
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- One recipe of the Very Best Cream Cheese Frosting see recipe link in post.
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 (or 3) 9 inch cake pans by spraying with non stick spray and lining with parchment paper. Spray the paper as well. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, using a spoon, stir together the flour, soda, salt, and spices.
- In a larger separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet mixture, stirring until just blended. Do not over mix.
- Gently fold in the carrots, pineapple, coconut and nuts. Stir until combined. Evenly pour the cake into the prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.
- When the cake is done, remove from oven. Evenly pour the Buttermilk Glaze (below) over each layer. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove and allow the cake layers to cool completely.
- Frost with Very Best Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the Buttermilk Glaze
- In a large sauce pan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla. Stir and bring to a boil. Stir constantly and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour over layers as noted above.