Carrot snacking cake for the win, peeps, is all I can say. I recently partnered with my fave olive oil Colavita, in creating an oil-based baking series for IGTV and YouTube and the first episode is all about the making of this carrot cake (and you can check it out here)! I love carrot cake kind of a lot and though I have a chocolate carrot cake on the site, I’ve never had a straight-up carrot cake to share with you here, that is, until now.
Also, did I happen to mention that this carrot cake is of the snacking variety which, of course, is my favorite kind. It is assembled super quickly – as all snacking cakes should be – and calls for pantry friendly ingredients. It is (obviously) oil-based and that means there is no time spent bringing butter to room temp and no need for a stand or hand mixer. And because it is oil-based, the cake is wonderfully moist – and stays that way for days – it may even be better on the second day, just sayin’. I like my carrot cake kind of unadorned, with nothing more than sweetened shredded coconut as an add-in. But if you like walnuts and raisins, by all means add a handful or so of each.
Finally, the cake does take a bit longer than some to bake – up to 55 minutes, but that is because I like my snacking cakes on the tall side (and I’m pretty sure you will too, after laying eyes on this one . . . ). So just be patient and I guarantee the extra minutes will be worth it.
Carrot Snacking Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup olive oil preferably a mild olive oil, but any will work
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups finely grated carrots about 3 1/2 regular-sized carrots, lightly packed, preferably grated with a microplane
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8x2-inch square pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until incorporated.
- In a second medium bowl, combine the sugar, oil, and vanilla and whisk vigorously. Add the eggs, one at a time, gently whisking after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and with a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry into the wet, until a few streaks of flour remain. Add the carrots and coconut and fold again, until incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top if necessary and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, rotating the pan after 25. The cake is done when the tester comes out with a moist crumb or two.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
- To make the frosting, combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium speed, beat until smooth.
- Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl and with the mixer on low , add about a cup of it at a time to the mixer bowl, beating thoroughly after each addition until combined. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and beat the mixture until smooth. Do not over mix or the frosting will lose structure.
- Generously frost the cooled cake with the frosting.
- Leftover cake should be refrigerated, lightly wrapped in plastic wrap, due to the cream cheese in the frosting and will last about a week.