I’ve already shared my recipe for the Best Ever Carrot Cake and carrot cake cupcakes, which is the recipe I make for clients and also the very same one I made for my hubs’ Grooms Cake. But sometimes you are short on time and/or patience (Who, me?) and you don’t feel like breaking out the mixer to make a whole egg foam extravaganza.
Time for the One Bowl Carrot Cake to make its grand entrance! You can make it all in one bowl, or not, baker’s choice.
I did whisk my dry ingredients separately because you can take the pastry chef out of the professional kitchen but you cannot force her to whisk everything together willy-nilly. You cannot.
Unlike my other non-one bowl carrot cake, I mixed in all the things here. I love raisins so I threw them in. You can too or you can leave them in the cupboard for your chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. You’ll get no shade from me. If you enjoy a cake with all the mix-ins then you should also try Hummingbird Cake!
If you’ve been following along on the CLF journey these past years and years, you’ll remember that I have a real soft spot for carrot cake. It is my husband’s favorite type of one bowl cake (and he’s my favorite human).
Preheat the oven to 350℉ conventional. Prepare cake pans with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify. They should be pale and voluminous.
Whisk in the sugars, then fold in the dry ingredient mixture.
Fold in carrots, walnuts and raisins.
Divide between the prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with only a few clinging crumbs.
Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare Cream Cheese Buttercream:
Cream together cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth.
Add lemon juice and extract. If it gets too warm, chill it. Just pop the whole bowl and attachments in the fridge and give it an hour.
Beat with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Breathe. It’s just buttercream.
Once cake is cool, layer with buttercream!
For easiest slicing, chill before serving. This cake is DELIGHTFUL at room temperature though.
Presentation – For the cleanest slices, chill the cake before serving and slice with a sharp knife or a serrated knife!Flavor Tips – You cannot substitute for freshly shredded carrots that you squeeze of excess moisture. I use cheesecloth or a tea-towel in a pinch. You can use pre-grated carrots but they will be fatter and have variable amounts of moisture.Technique – Be sure to allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their pans before turning out to cool completely, otherwise (even with properly prepared pans) the layers might not come out in one beautiful piece. Helpful Tools – Could I make this cake completely in one bowl? There is an important distinction between “can” and “should” in pastry. Can you mix this all in one bowl, yes. Should you mix it all in one bowl, perhaps a second momentary bowl is ok to pull out of the cupboard. Pre-whisking together the dry ingredients has two benefits: distributing the leavening and spices in the flour, and allowing for the fastest incorporation with the wet ingredients. Mixing it all in one bowl can more easily lead to an overmixed cake.Variations – You can omit the raisins and walnuts, or substitute for another dried fruit or nut of your choosing. If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, you can absolutely substitute dark brown sugar in equal amounts. The flavor will be a bit more robust but you will still get all the benefits of the added moisture and caramel notes.Storage – Store unfrosted carrot cake well-wrapped at room temperature or freeze it! Unfrosted Carrot Cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to two months! Store unused cream cheese buttercream in an airtight, clean container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Buttercream can be frozen for longer storage. Once frosted, cake can be kept at room temperature for up to three days before the buttercream spoils. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator.Yield: 2 layer, 9” Cake