Birthday Carrot Cake

A simple carrot cake with cream cheese icing is so delicious. Since half of the crowd we serve on Sunday night dinners are children under 18, we have omitted the nuts and raisins to make it simple but tasty.

Frankie, who is our Missions Director at our church, and kitchen staff's dearest friend, turned fifty-something today. And Hannah did a beautiful job making a cake big enough to feed hundreds and decorating the cake.

Grate the carrots, instead of chopping them in your food possessor. It will give you more consistent texture.

Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled, grated
1 Cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1 Cup of raisins (optional)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese , softened but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

3. In food processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor workbowl and fit with metal blade. Process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape mixture into medium bowl. Stir in carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. DO NOT OVER MIX! Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

4. For the frosting (See below for mixer method): When cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners' sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

5. Run paring knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto serving platter. Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

NOTE: If you are making a large batch as we did, use a electric hand mixer to beat sugar and oil mixture, instead of using a food processor. Then stir in carrots (nuts and raisins if using) and flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX!


  1. You mention the addition of cloves but it is not included in your ingredients listing. How much is needed?

    1. Thank you for catching that! 1/2 teaspoon will do it! :)