This Homemade Carrot Cake tastes just like a bakery-made cake, you will have a hard time believing it’s made at home. This cake is especially good when it is topped with cream cheese icing.
Years ago, I created this recipe because it was difficult to find a good recipe for carrot cake that actually tasted like the real thing. Most recipes I came across tasted like they came from a box, which wasn’t what I was looking for. This cake quickly became a family favourite.
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What Kind Of Cake is Carrot Cake?
Carrot Cake can be three types of cake: Sheet, layered, or cupcake.
For this recipe, the batter is made into a layered cake, but it can also be baked into a sheet cake. A layered cake tastes more like a bakery-style cake.
I make this recipe into a sheet cake when I am serving a large number of people. A sheet cake will take longer to bake, but it’s great to serve at a BBQ or get-together.
What Are The Ingredients For Homemade Carrot Cake?
Don’t let a long list of ingredients scare you away from making this recipe. This cake is actually very easy to make.
This recipe uses the usual cake ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
Milk and lemon juice are used as wet ingredients. Buttermilk can also be used in place of both these ingredients.
There are a couple of spices in the recipe. Cinnamon and nutmeg complement the carrots and add flavour to the cake so it isn’t just a vanilla cake with carrots. Nutmeg is optional if you prefer to omit it.
Carrots and pineapple are also added. Carrots obviously because it is a carrot cake, and pineapple because it adds sweetness and moisture to an otherwise dry batter.
What is Not in This Carrot Cake Recipe?
There are two ingredients not added to this cake that are usually in a carrot cake. Those are nuts and coconut.
I have never added these two ingredients because our family just doesn’t like either one. Also, without walnuts or pecans, this cake can be served without worrying if someone has a nut allergy.
Tools For Making This Recipe
Making this recipe is easy but there are a few tools that make it easier.
Stand Mixer: This is not a must but it helps. A hand mixer can also be used.
Spring-Form Pans: this is what the batter is baked in. I like these types of pans because it makes it easier to remove the cakes from the pans. I use two 8-inch pans for this cake. If you don’t have spring-form pans, 8-inch or 9-inch round pans can be used. If using regular cake pans, they are not as deep, so it will take three pans to bake the batter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Carrot Cake
When it comes to carrot cake, there are a number of questions I get asked. These are the most asked questions and how I answer them.
What Happens If You Put Too Much Carrot?
It’s important to measure the amount of shredded carrot you put in your batter. If you put too much, your cake batter will be too wet and it will not bake properly.
Do You Have To Use Cream Cheese Icing?
No, it’s not necessary to use cream cheese icing for carrot cake. It is the most popular, but I have used vanilla buttercream instead.
Why Do You Put Pineapple in Carrot Cake?
Adding pineapple is what makes carrot cake moist. Without it, carrot cake would be dry. The enzymes in pineapple break down the proteins resulting in a moist cake.
Pineapple also adds sweetness to the cake without adding more sugar.
How Do You Store Carrot Cake?
The best way to store this cake is in an airtight container. A cake storage container works well for this. If you don’t have one, an upside-down mixing bowl works as well.
Homemade Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- ¾ cups vegetable oil
- ¾ cups milk
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Line the bottoms of 2 spring-form pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with cooking spray
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside
- In a mixer, Beat together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and lemon juice until blended.
- Add dry ingredients and beat until well blended.
- Fold in carrots and pineapple.
- Pour batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until baked through. A toothpick inserted in centre should come out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before frosting. (see notes below)