The Best Carrot Cake Ever
This recipe is featured in The Best Carrot Cake Ever
This sheet cake can also be made into cupcakes, a layer cake, or served dusted with confectioners’ sugar instead of frosting. It can even be baked in a loaf pan and glazed with a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and orange juice or drizzled with white or dark chocolate.
For a party, bake as a sheet cake and cut into small squares or circles. Slice each piece in half horizontally and spread frosting in the middle as well as on top. If you like a generous amount of filling, double the recipe for the frosting.
- Servings One 33 by 23 cm (13 by 9 inch) cake / Up to 24 small servings
For the cake:
- Vegetable oil or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) baking soda
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) salt
- 3 large eggs
- 177 ml (¾ cup) unsweetened applesauce
- 177 ml (¾ cup) buttermilk
- 320 grams (1½ cups) light brown sugar
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 227 grams (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
- 200 grams (2 cups) grated carrots
- 43 grams (½ cup) shredded sweetened coconut
- 113 grams (1 cup) chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
- 227 grams (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 113 grams (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) orange juice
- 7.5 ml (1½ teaspoons) finely grated orange zest
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 454 grams (2 cups) confectioners' sugar
- Finely grated fresh carrot, for garnish
1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F). Oil or spray a 33 by 23 cm (13 by 9 inch) cake pan, and set aside. Into a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until well blended. Add the applesauce, buttermilk, light brown sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add the flour mixture, pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts. Mix well and pour into baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center of the cake comes out dry, 50 minutes to one hour. Cool completely.
3. For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until thoroughly blended and smooth. Add orange juice, orange zest and vanilla, and beat again until mixed. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until very smooth and fluffy.
4. Use an icing spatula to cover cake evenly with frosting. Alternatively, cut the unfrosted cake into small squares or circles. Halve each piece horizontally, and spread frosting in the middle and on top of each piece; the easiest way to do this is by using a piping bag. If desired, garnish with grated carrot.
5. Place the frosted cake in an airtight cake container and refrigerate. If a container is not available, the cake may be refrigerated uncovered until the icing sets, about 2 hours. If the cake has been cut into pieces, place them close together to prevent them from drying out. Once chilled, cover lightly with plastic wrap, tucking the edges under the plate to make an airtight seal. Remove from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature about 45 minutes before serving.