Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting From Scratch!

The cake is real­ly good, but the icing is so good you’ll be tempt­ed to eat it with a spoon and binge-watch some­thing on NetFlix.


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  • The Cake: Dry Stuff!
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. bak­ing soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • The Cake: Wet Stuff!
  • 3 eggs
  • 34 cup veg­etable oil
  • 34 cup but­ter­milk
    • Option: 34 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • The Cake: Carrots!
  • 2 cups shred­ded carrots

Pre­heat oven to 350° F.

*You don’t.

This cake bat­ter is like pan­cake or corn­bread bat­ter: You don’t want to mix the bejab­bers out of it; you want to stir it just a lit­tle by hand until it’s most­ly dis­em­lumpi­fied. Even if you have a mix­er as cool as mine,* don’t use it for the cake batter.

Kwitch­er whin­ing! You can use it for the icing. 

In a large bowl, stir Dry Stuff.

In anoth­er large bowl, whisk Wet Stuff.

Pour Wet Stuff into Dry Stuff. Stir until most lumps are gone.

Stir in Carrots.

  • Option­al stuff you can add: 
    • 8 oz. crushed pineap­ple, drained
    • 12 cup chopped walnuts
    • 34 cup shred­ded coconut

Pour bat­ter into an ungreased 9“x13” dish or two 8″ lay­er pans. I sup­pose a Bundt pan would work too, but I’ve nev­er tried one.

Bake for approx­i­mate­ly 45 to 60 min­utes. Just eye­ball it for done­ness; if you start mess­ing with it and stab­bing it with tooth­picks it will crater on you. 

Besides, with the cake in the oven it’s now time for:

  • The Icing!
  • 8 oz. but­ter, softened
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lb. pow­dered sugar
  • Lemon juice or vanil­la extract to taste

Okay, now you can use your mix­er, but not for this first step: Whisk but­ter and pow­dered sug­ar until it’s fluffy. If you put a pound of pow­dered sug­ar into your mix­er, it will poof all over the place.  You don’t want that to hap­pen, not unless you like clean­ing pow­dered sug­ar from every sur­face and nook and cran­ny in the kitchen.

If you don’t have a stand mix­er a hand mix­er is okay. You can also whisk it by hand but it will be good work­out if you do.

Once the but­ter and sug­ar are mixed, put a few chunks of soft­ened cream cheese in and turn the mix­er on as low as it can go. If the sug­ar starts fly­ing around, mix it by hand some more until the sug­ar decides to behave.

Once the sug­ar stops try­ing to erupt out of the bowl, increase the speed. You want to get a lot of air mixed in, so stop occa­sion­al­ly and scrape the sides of the bowl with a soft spat­u­la (if you’re using a whisk attach­ment on your mix­er you’ll need to take the spat­u­la and push the frost­ing out.

Keep adding cream cheese a lit­tle at a time; pause occa­sion­al­ly to scrape off the bowl and mix­er attach­ment until the icing gets fluffy and easy to spread. You don’t want to frost a cake with icing as heavy and stiff as cream cheese, so take your time.

Cool the cake through­ly before you frost it. You might want to put it in the freez­er for 20 min­utes or so.