Cakes Desserts Explore Recipes

BEST CARROT PUMPKIN CAKE

The most surprisingly moist and delicious carrot pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing.


Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 2-3 medium sized) carrots, shredded
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cups pure canned pumpkin (I recommend Libby’s to keep it from being too watery) *DO not use an entire can of pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Frosting

  • 2 packages 8 ounces EACH full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature, do not melt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature do not melt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans,* optional

Instructions

Cake

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees F. Grab 2 9-inch round pans and generously spray with cooking spray and dust generously with flour. (Take your time preparing the pans so the cake doesn’t stick) Set aside.
  2. Peel and then grate the carrots on the small side of a grater to get very fine pieces of carrots. Shred the carrots carefully. Measure to ensure you have exactly 1 cup.
  3. Whisk together the whole milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes (it will look curdled!). Grab a very large bowl and mix the pumpkin (make sure it isn’t watery at all), white sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and milk/lemon mixture with a large whisk until completely combined and smooth. Add in the shredded carrots and crushed pineapple. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Place a sifter over the bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Add in the coconut. Mix until JUST combined (do not over-mix to avoid a denser/tougher cake.)
  5. Separate the mixture evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center, comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool for 5-7 minutes before inverting the cakes onto a cooling rack for them to finish cooling.

Frosting

  1. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer, add in the cream cheese and butter. Make sure both are at room temperature and not at all melted or softened.
  2. Beat the two until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt (if desired). Beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you’ve added 3 and 1/2 cups. Remove 1/4 of the frosting now to go into the center of the cake. Add the remaining 1/2 to 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting until you have a good frosting consistency. If needed add in the heavy cream. The frosting won’t be as firm as a buttercream, but firm enough to frost the cake.
  4. To decorate: place a little frosting on the bottom of a cake pan (just to hold the bottom cake in place) and top with 1 completely cooled cake. Add the reserved 1/4 of the frosting into the center and smooth it.
  5. Top the frosting with the other cake.
  6. Use the remaining frosting to generously frost the cake. If the frosting is too soft, either refrigerate it or add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar. (You will likely have a bit of extra frosting, so don’t feel like you need to use it all on the cake).
  7. Once the cake is frosted, decorate the sides with the pecans if desired.

Recipe Notes

*You can also add a cup of chopped pecans to the cake batter if you like nuts in your cake!


 

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