This is our favorite family homemade carrot cake recipe, which of course would not be complete without a fabulous maple cream cheese frosting. It’s consistently at the top of the list for birthday and holiday cake requests. You can grate the carrots finely for a special occasion cake or choose to use a heartier grate for a more rustic everyday tea cake.
Some carrot cake recipes call for raisins, nuts or coconut. We’ve kept it simple with this particular version, though you can add back in if you’d like (just reduce liquid ingredients slightly, and cake will be a bit denser). The latest version of this delicious carrot cake started out from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
When it comes to frosting, it’s nice to let the tangy cream cheese flavor shine through with just a hint of maple. Our Vallee Farm Vermont Pure Maple Syrup “Grade A Amber Color with Rich Taste” is truly the best for baking and depth of flavor. You have the choice of baking this carrot cake in a 9”x13” cake pan or dividing the batter between two round cake pans.
Can you think of a better way to celebrate Springtime and the Easter season? Here’s the recipe:
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots (finely or coarsely grated per your preference)
½ cup neutral cooking oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
8 oz. cream cheese (or Neufchâtel cheese which contains 1/3 less fat)
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Vermont Pure Maple Syrup (Grade A Amber Color with Rich Taste)
1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F; grease and lightly flour pan(s). Combine all dry cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk lightly to blend. Add grated carrots, oil, applesauce and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until tester/toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake before frosting with an offset spatula.
To make the frosting:
Combine all frosting ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). The frosting can be refrigerated until you are ready to use; stir well and bring to room temperature before frosting the carrot cake.
It's time to get baking!
Photography credits: Emily Vallee