Truly – the PERFECT carrot cake recipe! Delicious, moist, perfectly spiced cake, topped with classic cream cheese frosting. Detailed recipe and photos included.
- 2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
- 1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil
- 12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots (you should have about 3 cups). Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside. Rinse out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade. Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
- Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, so that each is about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Carrot cake is my all-time favorite! What a great idea to put it into a cupcake. I think I would top the cream cheese frosting with a little bit of chopped walnuts or pecans. Great recipe, Ali!
Hey Georgia & Natalie,
Definitely feel free to add in some nuts if you’d like! I forgot to put that in as an optional ingredient – yum! :)
oh yum! I do love nuts & coconut in mine but so many people don’t, so I’m going to have to save this recipe!! they look beautiful!
Not to confuse the situation when you’ve settled on your winner, but have you tried Rose’s?
Fantastic ! I’ve been trying to find a good carrot cake recipe too. I shall try this one next, and hopefully end my hunt with this one =)
Cool! This cake doesn’t have nuts in it!! My mother and I don’t like pineapples and coconut in this dessert either. I agree that those two ingredients don’t belong in there along with the applesauce and wheat flour. YUCK! I must try this recipe out on my mom. She would love it!
I love Cook’s Illustrated! I just recently got a subscription to the magazine for a present and I love it! Can’t wait to give this one a try.
Ali, I just happened across your page while looking for a recipe for Orange Julius. I made it for breakfast with a little mint leaf and it was delicious. Thanks. I can’t wait to try some of your other posts. My friends and I have play-dates for the kids while we cook (we call ourselves Gourmet Girls -maybe a bit cheesy, but fun) and I will definitely share this blog with them. Thanks again.
We made these last evening. Very yummy! The co-workers enjoyed the extras.
These look great! I LOVE carrot cupcakes.
This looks absolutely delicious. My Dad’s favourite cake is Carrot Cake and I was looking for a recipie with his birthday coming up.
Do you know what size/how many cake pans it would fill?
I made these today- EXCELLENT!!
Hi how do you think about me?
These are delicious! I baked them this afternoon while talking on the phone with my sister. She was baking your beer bread, which turned out delicious as well.
My husband is a big fan of spice cakes, and really enjoyed this one. The smell brings me back to childhood Halloweens. Thanks for a great recipe!
I tried this recipe and wow everyone loved it!!! Thanks Ali!!
Thanks for sharing with us, Kiruthika — we’re so glad to hear that! :)
These look delicious! Perfect for easter! Should they be stored in the refrigerator?
Going to me my first time using this recipe and I’m looking forward to baking this