A simple Carrot cake recipe that is moist, delicious and easy to make can be hard to come by. However this recipe ticks all the boxes!
This cake has warming spices, crunchy walnuts and topped with classic cream cheese frosting and needs no mixer!
No mixer required!
I’ve been making this simple Carrot cake for a long time. Years ago (I’m thinking it has to be 25 years), this recipe was published House and Garden magazine by the well known Australian cook, Maureen Simpson. However Maureen suggested using a food processor but I’ve found that this cake can be made successfully using a hand whisk and a wooden spoon. The method is very similar to making mufins using only 4 simple steps.
- Use a hand whisk and whisk together eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy.
- Add the carrots and walnuts.
- Sift the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
The result is a moist but light cake that anyone can make.
Can you freeze this simple Carrot cake?
Absolutely! This carrot cake freezes really well. I don’t know the science behind it but many cakes seem to be more moist if frozen just after baking.
To freeze just wrap the cooled cake well in double plastic wrap and then an outer layer of aluminium foil. It’s preferable to freeze before frosting but I do freeze leftover frosted cake for when I feel peckish.
Defrost either overnight in the refrigerator or for a couple of hours at room temperature. Don’t unwrap the frozen cake before defrosting. Because of the condensation, you will end up with a soggy cake.
Cream cheese frosting is perfect for this simple Carrot cake.
Carrot cake frosted with cream cheese frosting is a classic and can’t be topped (haha, pun intended). I like to add a little fresh lemon juice to counteract the sweetness of the frosting. If the frosting is too thick add a little more lemon juice to thin it. Conversely, add a little more sifted icing (powdered) sugar if you find the frosting too thin.
Eggs are a very important ingredient.
Eggs are the basis of so many baking recipes. They provide structure and leavening to cakes. Fat rich yolks create tenderness and emulsify to create a smooth and creamy batter. While the egg white provides strength. Eggs bind ingredients and contribute to browning and flavour. In fact, eggs have been called “the cement that holds the castle of cuisine together.”
How to use eggs in baking.
- Firstly choose fresh eggs. At the supermarket reach to the back for the coldest eggs. Open the carton and check that there are no cracked or broken eggs. Don’t ever buy eggs that are not refrigerated. Eggs kept at room temperature will age more in one day than egg in the refrigerator for a week!
- I like to buy extra large eggs but in most recipes large or extra large eggs can be substituted for one another. However if a recipe contains 8 or more eggs use the size specified.
- Use room temperature eggs for all your baking. If your eggs are cold, cover them with lukewarm water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To read more about eggs in baking check out this link.
Variations for this simple Carrot cake.
My simple Carrot cake is very forgiving so you can add or substitute to make this cake your own. Why not try:-
- varying the spices – cardamom, mixed spice or a pinch of cloves.
- adding ½ cup of raisins.
- adding ½ cup of well drained, crushed canned pineapple.
- substituting pecans for the walnuts.
Be assured, that when you make this simple Carrot cake it will turn out every time and be so delicious everyone will come back for seconds.
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Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Simple Carrot Cake
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup castor sugar (superfine)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ⅓ cup self raising flour (see notes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar0
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (more if needed0
Simple Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 25cm x 25cm (10in x 10in) square cake pan. Line the base and flour the sides.
- Using a hand whisk, whisk together eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy.
- Stir in the carrot and walnuts.
- Sift flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt then stir lightly but thoroughly into the carrot mixture.
- Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack
- Once cool, the cake can be frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using a wooden spoon, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined and lightened.
- Add the icing (powdered) sugar and mix slowly until combined.
- Add lemon juice and beat well until lightened and creamy. If the frosting is too thick, thin with a little more lemon juice.
- 2 cups of grated carrot is 2 large or 3 medium carrots
- Pecans can be used instead of walnuts
- In Australian, you can make your own self raising flour by mixing 2 teaspoons of baking powder into 1 cup of plain (all purpose flour). For other countries, baking powder brands are different. Check your baking powder for correct ratios.
- ½ cup of raisins of sultanas can be added.