Spiced Carrot Raisin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

carrot cake
photograpy is a play with light/Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 24–36 servings
Ratings (24)

This may very well be the ultimate carrot cake. The secret to this recipe is in the finely grated carrots, which give moisture and add a natural sugar to the cake. At the same time, the spices will tickle your taste buds with warm and inviting flavors.

If you're allergic to nuts, the walnuts may be omitted. The cream cheese frosting is also optional. You can use the same batter to make mini-bundt cakes, mini-loaves, or giant muffins. And, if you're really adventurous, go ahead and soak the raisins in rum for an extra kick.

Depending on how large you cut the pieces, this cake makes 24 to 36 servings.

What You'll Need

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh, grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure)
  • 1 cup carrots (finely grated, not packed)
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can pineapple (crushed, in juice, drained or 1/2 cup)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure)
  • 1 cup confectioners' powdered sugar

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or grease liberally with butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until well-combined.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until combined. Stir in carrots, raisins, crushed pineapple, and walnuts by hand. Mix until evenly distributed.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in confectioners' powdered sugar, half at a time, until smooth.
  3. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts and press gently into frosting.

Tips and Variations

It is important that the carrots be finely grated. Most graters and food processors won't do the trick. This is the perfect job for a microplane grater/zester

You may also use this batter to make miniature 3 x 6-inch loaves, miniature bundt cakes, or large muffins. The baking time should be about 25 to 30 minutes for smaller cakes or muffins.