A simple, moist carrot cake flavored with a touch of bourbon and fragrant spices, then topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting that’s whipped until it’s silky smooth. O.M.G. A food processor makes the prep work easy and helps deliver the best texture and color. I’ve had this recipe for years in my files and I’m now sharing it with you.
THE BEST CARROT CAKE? YES!
This is the best carrot cake you’ll have. How can I be confident in that statement? Because everyone who has ever had it has stated just that. If carrot cake was listed on the dessert menu it would always be my choice. I loved the taste of the spiced cake loaded with carrots and nuts. What always took it over the top was the cream cheese frosting.
But there was always one pet peeve and that was the strands of carrots that didn’t quickly disappear in the cake. I loved the sweetness the carrots provided, especially since it was a carrot cake (duh right?). But little strings of carrots that hang from the fork (or even worse, from your mouth) are not very appealing. What to do?
PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS
Process the hell out of them. Cut the peeled carrots into chunks, put them in the food processor, then pulse until they’re tiny in size. Do not puree them. Just make sure they’re tiny. Doing this also creates a beautiful color to the cake.
But wait! Before you process those carrots we need to grind the walnuts. Yes, this cake has nuts and I’ve always used nuts. You won’t even know they're in this carrot cake because we’re going to process the them until they are finely ground. Transfer them into another bowl. Now, we do the same for the carrots.
If you don’t like nuts, I still urge you to try this carrot cake because you won’t even know they’re there. If you can’t have nuts, then omit them. The cake will still be delicious.
DON'T HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR? USE A GRATER.
If you don’t have a food processor, I recommend you get one because you can make amazing food with it. I use this one and it doesn’t disappoint. While that’s being shipped to your house and you still want to make this cake, you can use the smallest hole of your grater and grate that carrot fine. Remember, grate not shred. Once you do that to the carrots and nuts, you’ll see how valuable that food processor will be and how you should get one.
If you’re looking for raisins, you won’t find any here because I don’t like them in my carrot cake. If you like them, add them. Just soak them in some hot water to plump them up, adding just enough to cover. Don’t soak them too long or they’ll become mushy. Soak them while you’re prepping the remaining ingredients then add them in when you’re adding in the nuts.
Now that the carrots and nuts are processed, the rest is easy. Just mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour it into the prepared pans. Bake, frost, and eat. Then eat some more.
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But wait! There’s more. I use all brown sugar in this recipe to deliver a moist, flavorful cake. Bourbon is added instead of vanilla because it adds delicious flavor. Cinnamon is a must as is some ginger and just a touch of allspice. Olive oil is used instead of butter because the oil will keep this cake moist.
As for the cream cheese frosting, I use my recipe for fluffy 10 minute cream cheese frosting. Why does it take 10 minutes? Well go read the post and find out.
Frost this cake however you like. Make it simple or make it fancy. I prefer simple because it looks more homemade and homemade looks and tastes better to me.
Make this carrot cake. Eat this carrot cake. Enjoy this carrot cake.
Life is too short for mediocre food.
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TOOLS USED FOR THIS RECIPE
The Best Carrot Cake You’ll Ever HavePRINT PIN
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups brown sugar packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 pound carrots peeled
- 1 ½ cups walnuts divided See Notes
- 1 batch cream cheese frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Grease or spray two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. You can also use 8-inch pans for a thicker layer cake.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Stir in the grated carrot to coat it with the flour. Set aside.
- Add the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get small bits. Don’t overprocess or you’ll get walnut butter. Just process until you get small pieces. Transfer walnuts into a bowl and set aside.
- Remove ends from carrots and discard. Slice the carrots into chunks.
- Add the carrots into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get small bits. Don’t overprocess or you’ll get puree. Just grind until the bits are tiny. Refer to the photo in the post. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs, and bourbon until blended.
- Add carrots into the batter and mix.
- Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until flour is mostly blended, then stir for 50 strokes. Stir in 1 cup of the walnut pieces.
- Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes then turnout onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- Frost the cake with my 10 Minute Cream Cheese Frosting then decorate with remaining walnuts.
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