I can take absolutely zero credit for this cake. It’s my cousin’s Mother-in-Law’s recipe and after watching me drool over the cake for a year she was kind enough to share it with me. It is the ultimate carrot cake. It’s so moist, so full of flavor, and just made up of the perfect texture. I couldn’t believe how simple it was when she gave me the recipe.
It’s always the family recipes that are the best though. You can look a recipe up in a cookbook, and there can be 47 different ingredients, but it’ll lack flavor somehow. That or it’ll come out burnt on the edges and soupy still inside. Not that I’m saying this has happened to me. Sigh.
First up, get everything ready to go because then it’ll whip up in minutes.
Here’s everything you need for the cake: white sugar, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, vegetable oil, flour, 3 cups of grated carrots, and walnuts (optional). For the carrots, peel them first, then grate them. I used my food processor to make it nice and quick, but you can just use any old cheese grater.
Beat together the sugar and the oil.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt).
Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture using a wooden spoon. Now, I’m sure you could do this in your mixer on the stir setting, but this is Mama Dorosch’s recipe and if she says to stir it with a spoon, I’m damn well going to stir it with a spoon.
Fold in the carrots and walnuts if you’re using them.
Alright, batter’s finished! See, told you it was ridiculously easy.
Pour the batter into a very well greased and floured pan. Tradition says to use a bundt or tube pan. I went with a tube pan, then shook things up by cutting the finished cake in half to layer it.
Throw the cake into the oven at 360ºF. You’re reading that right, I said 360ºF. Not 350. Not 375. 360ºF. For some reason I really, REALLY love this. Now walk away for about an hour. Not too far away though, because you should start checking it around 45 minutes. Here’s the finished cake. Make sure you let it cool completely before you ice it.
Ok, while the cake is cooking make the icing. I’ve got to be honest here…I doubled Mama Dorosch’s icing recipe. It’s just that I have this thing for cream cheese icing. I can’t get enough of it. Plus, I figured that if I had lots of leftovers I’d just find another use for it. I’ve got to say though, I didn’t have much left at all, and I don’t think that I over did it on the cake. That said, if you’re not layering the cake, and you don’t like a lot of icing, you’re probably fine halving it back to the original quantity.
For the icing all you need is cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and icing sugar.
Beat together the well softened butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until soft and fluffy.
Beat in the icing sugar, ⅓ at a time, until completely combined and the icing is nice and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until the cake is cool enough to ice. If making ahead of time, store in the fridge.
Now, you can just frost the outside of the cake, but me, as stated before, I like lots of icing. So, if you’re like me go ahead and cut that cake in half.
Slap on a nice amount of icing. I want to say this was about ½”, maybe ¾”.
Throw the top of the cake back on. Don’t worry about that icing popping out the side.
Now dirty ice the cake. That’s just a quick, thin layer that doesn’t need to look pretty. It traps all the crumbs for you so they don’t work themselves out in the finished icing. Once that’s on, just through the rest of the icing on however you want. Me, I didn’t want to spend forever smoothing it out, so I went for the rustic wavy look. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Have I convinced you yet? Get going, make this cake, and while you’re eating it say a silent thank you to Mama Dorosch. I will be in 2.934 seconds when I have a slice for breakfast. There’s nothing wrong with that either, and you’ll never convince me otherwise!
Ok, one more picture, because I took a great one of a slice yesterday!
EDIT: I’ve got one more quick note to make. I got a bit of a back story on the cake yesterday. Apparently Mama Dorosch originally got the recipe from a write-up in the Toronto Star years ago. They had gotten their hands on the carrot cake recipe from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. So, there you have it. However, the way I see things, if I’m ever at the Waldorf Astoria I’ll be eating Mama Dorosch’s cake 😉
EDIT 2: Photo proof that this is a great carrot cake! Here’s Oliver and I after taking the “Best Tasting Carrot Cake” award at this summer’s Carrot Fest (yes, I live in a town that has this, and I love it).Yes, the photo is terrible, but it’s all the proof I’ve got. And yes, Oliver couldn’t care less that the cake he helped his mother bake won something, he just wanted the last 3 raisins from the bottom of the box. No, there are no raisins in the cake. Gross. I hate raisins.
Here’s the printable:
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cups oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups grated carrots, packed
- ¾ cup walnuts (optional)
Icing (split in half if not layering and you aren't an icing freak)
- 16oz cream cheese (2 bars), well softened
- 8 tbsp (½ cup) butter, well softened
- 2 lb icing sugar
- 4 tsp vanilla
- Pre-heat the oven to 360ºF with a rack in the middle position. Liberally grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.
- In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- In a second, medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar mix and mix in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.
- Fold in the carrots and walnuts (if using).
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the icing sugar until well blended.