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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

You know us, cookies. We are not ones for a mess. In fact, we clean for the cleaners. We are those girls.

But, sometimes, ONLY sometimes (read: often), we just can't keep it up. We have to let it all go. To heck with all that cleaning and organizing. Seriously, we just don't care anymore. Let the dishes pile up. Leave the bed unmade. No one will notice the milk stain on our shirt. And, no, no, we did NOT get the mail today and we are totally ok with that. For now. 

We will do all that stuff tomorrow.

Now imagine that attitude, if you will, muffins, applied to baking. Only instead of being messy for messy's sake (er, or something like that), and dealing with the mess tomorrow, with baking you are messy and you have to clean tomorrow but, BUT, you get a giant cake at the end!

Sweet jackpot of lazy flour bomb explosions! CAKE!!!

And not just any cake. Carrot Cake. 4-layer Carrot Cake. The Cake of Cakes. With Cream Cheese Frosting. The Frosting of Frostings. Or whatever. You get it. It's totally worth using every bowl in your kitchen. We promise.

You can have your cake and eat it now!

And clean up tomorrow.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 10-12

Print Recipe

For the Cake:
4 eggs
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
6 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) buttermilk 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 dash ground nutmeg 
4 cups tightly packed freshly shredded carrots (not pre-shredded)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

For the Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar

Additional whole walnuts for decoration

Position a rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously butter and flour 2 8-inch cake pans (we also lined them with parchment rounds, available at the grocery store pre-cut).

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and thick.  In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  On low-speed, slowly add the oil mixture to the egg and sugar mixture.  In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Add to the mixer and mix just until folded into the egg-sugar-oil-spice blend. Add the carrots, raisins, coconut and walnut and using a rubber spatula, fold into the mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 60-75 minutes or until the top is golden brown and springs back when you press into the middle with your finger.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.  

To make the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Then add the vanilla and slowly add the confectioner's sugar. Mix until smooth. 

Then, once cooled, remove the cakes from the pans and slice in half horizontally, working slowly using a serrated knife and spinning the cakes until the knife works it way all the way through.  

Place one half of one of the layers cut-side up on a cake plate and spread one layer of frosting on top, then press another layer of cake on top, cut-side up, and repeat ending with the top layer cut-side down. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the top layer and sides of the cake, the crumb coat (we love how Martha does it). Refrigerate the cake until the frosting has firmed up then continue to frost the top and sides using the rest of the frosting.  

Decorate as you wish using whole walnuts, toasted coconut, marzipan carrots or whatever you wish!

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Reader Comments (9)

My all time favorite cake! Yum!

Omg your cake looks soooooo delicious and i mean it!! So moist , flavourful, and pack full of goodness! I am so going to try this!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimplyBakes

Love your blog.
Love the e-mail feed (which goes directly into a folder marked "Excellent Recipes." (And, which I share with my sisters, regularly.)
Love the mouth-watering photos, the voice in which you write, and your generous sense of humor.
In a nutshell, I really like everything about what you're offering.

Except "seperate."

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAt the Blackboard

4 layers of carrot cake sounds phenommenalll!

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwhat katie's baking

OMGosh, I don't care how you spell or if you punctuate with random abandon: this cake is totally wonderful. The recipe, a winner.

I was feeling restless and (having just started Weight Watchers) hankering for something to do. Something good and positive that would add to the Greater Good. Something that would keep me busy and out of trouble. Sort of.

So, I made this recipe; baked the batter into cupcakes (didn't change a thing).

It is, without hesitation, the best Carrot Cake on the planet. Hide the recipe - take it down from here - because everyone will take it and then claim it as their own. It is just that darned good.

This morning I brought a single frosted layer into the office, and announced: I want the plate cleaned before 5 PM. It was gone in a flash. (An easy thing in a real estate office populated by women.)

Now, I am at an impasse, morally. Do I direct these salivating broads to your recipe here or, be swash-buckle like pirate and claim the booty as my own.

...I just sent them all an e-mail with your web address.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAt the Blackboard

Carrot cake was my absolute favorite cake as a kid. I could eat the icing with a spoon! This looks delicious!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMed School Mom

This turned out awesome! I decided to keep it as a 2 layer cake, because my cutting cake skills leave something to be desired lol! Also instead of raisins,I added a 16oz can of crushed pineapple. I drained it well and it was the perfect adaptation. I don't care for cooked raisins. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It made my birthday perfect!

May 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkrazymomof3

This cake is Great! Only problem I had which ruined the cake somewhat was the amount of confectioners sugar it said to put into the icing. It turned out runny! What happened lol?? Followed the recipe to a T and this happened! I tried to then add more cream cheese and luck! But gee like I said the cake is right on!!! I am going to go see if I can make more icing!

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I am so much excited after reading your blog......

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered

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