Every year for my Grandma Ma’s birthday she requests one thing: carrot cake. An easy task to accomplish, but since she only eats it once a year, I want to make sure it’s the absolute best!
I always stuck with the same recipe and just switched up the decorating of the cake. Sometimes I decorated it with frosting, other times colored chocolate carrots, and sometimes sprinkles. But this year I took a chance and made a carrot cake in sheet form. And I’m never going back to making a double layer cake again!
The sheet cake was easier to make (no worrying about the cake breaking when taking it out of the pan) and sooo much easier to transport. The cake itself is moist with a hint of cinnamon and the cream cheese frosting is light and fluffy. The secret to the fluffy frosting? Don’t stop whipping the frosting! I mixed my frosting for about 5 minutes total.
Growing up, Grandma Ma always made us cakes for our birthday parties. Every year she would ask us what kind of cake we wanted, and she’d make it. I always requested chocolate, obviously. If we were lucky enough to be in the kitchen while she was whipping the frosting she always let us scrape off the beaters and eat the frosting. This is amazing to think about because my grandma is a majorly clean person…I’m sure she triple washed the beaters after we were done with them.
I’m currently eating a piece of carrot cake right now. I couldn’t resist (and I’m telling myself it’s helping inspire the writing of this post…)
As I mentioned Sunday, everyone at Grandma Ma’s birthday party LOVED this recipe! Including me, and I usually need a cake with something chocolate. Not this time. Plus, it has vegetables in it, now you can feel better when you’re sneaking a second slice.
Carrot Sheet Cake
|Yield: makes a 9 x 13 sheet cake|
Carrot cake with a hint of cinnamon frosting with fluffy cream cheese frosting
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (or a mix of both!)
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk (optional)
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- In medium bowl, whisk all the dry cake ingredients (flour through ginger).
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars for 3 minutes. Add the oil and eggs, beat 1 minute.
- Add half of the dry cake mixture to the wet cake mixture. Gently mix. Pour half the buttermilk into the mixture. Alternate again with the dry cake mix and buttermilk, mixing gently after each addition.
- Stir in the carrots and nuts.
- Place batter in greased pan. Bake 25 - 35 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and only a few crumbs remain on inserted toothpick. Allow to cool 30 minutes before frosting.
- Make the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the rest of frosting ingredients. Beat a full 3 minutes (remember, this is what makes the frosting fluffy!) If frosting is too thick, thin out with a little milk. Frost cake. Top with additional nuts, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
images and text © North Coast Eats
adapted from A Cozy Kitchen