Carrot Cake

Here's the special recipe I was talking about last week on my Facebook page. A delish classic carrot cake that I made for my sister's birthday. For those who follow my blog you would already come to the conclusion that I'm very keen on carrots. Yes, I very much! This year I've published so far (including this one) three different recipes with carrots as the main ingredient: Vegan Carrot Cupcakes and Vegan Spiced Carrot Cookies. To put the cherry on top there couldn't be a better way than sharing with you my slightly customized version of Julie Richardson's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from her beautiful cookbook 'Vintage Cakes'
I made some changes to the original recipe: instead of currants I added raisins, I used sunflower oil because I'm not particularly fond of canola oil and most importantly, I made my own cream cheese frosting because I tried Richardson's cream cheese frosting recipe but I found it so overly-sweet and tasted too buttery...sorry, but not my kind of frosting! I like cream cheese frostings to actually taste like cream cheese frosting and I hate when butter masks the taste of cream cheese.
With that said (did I mention 'cream cheese frosting' too many times?!) I'm very happy with how the whole cake turned out! I love how spiced and moist it is and the frosting tastes really good, a pleasure for my taste buds. I enjoy a lot baking birthday cakes and assembling them, it's been a while since I last published a cake recipe so there you have it! Hope you like it and try my customized frosting recipe at home. You might need to double the frosting recipe if you want your cake to be beautifully decorated.
As I'm typing this blog post I'm already thinking about Christmas' recipes, I have so many ideas and yummy recipes to try out I'll need to do a list and organize my schedule.


Click aquí para la receta en español.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe adapted from 'Vintage Cakes' by Julie Richardson.)

Serves: 10 to 12.
-For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder.
1/2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp fine sea salt.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp ground ginger.
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar.
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar.
3/4 cup sunflower oil.
4 eggs, at room temperature.
1/2 cup buttermilk*, at room temperature.
1 pound peeled and coarsely grated carrots (approx. 3 cups).
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, untoasted.
1/2 cup golden raisins.
- For the cream cheese frosting:
24 ounces cream cheese, cold.
1/4 cup (not packed) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes.
1/2 cup sugar.
1 tsp pure vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Sift together the flours, baking powder, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl, then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars with the oil on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. As you make the batter, stop the mixer frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappearead into the batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and blend for 3 minutes. The thick batter will increase in volume and lighten in color. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand to ensure you do not overbeat the batter.
Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins.
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans (two 9 by 2-inch round cake pans, greased). Place the pans in the center of the oven and bake until the cakes are golden and spring back when lightly touched in the middle, 35 to 45 minutes.
Promptly run a knife around the edge of the pan to help the cake retract evenly from the sides.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes, and then gently remove the cakes from their pans. Continue to cool the cakes on a rack, top side up, until they reach room temperature.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend on medium speed to soften. While mixing on medium speed, gradually add the butter pieces and continue beating until all the butter is incorporated. Next, add the sugar and vanilla and continue mixing on medium speed until the frosting is well blended and has a smooth texture.
This frosting keeps in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

To assemble the cake cut the cake in four different layers and using a metal spatula, spread the frosting over the top of each layer. Spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake, finishing it in a decorative pattern.
This cake can be kept for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator (keep it refrigerated due to the frosting). Allow at least 1 hour for the cake to come to room temperature before serving.

*Buttermilk: if you don't have any store-bought buttermilk I recommend you to make this easy recipe at home. Important! Keep in mind that this recipes makes 1 cup of buttermilk and you will only need 1/2 cup for the carrot cake.

1 cup nonfat/skim milk.
1 tbsp lemon juice.

Add in the lemon juice to the milk cup and set aside for 10 minutes without beating or whisking this mixture, it will curdle later (it MUST curdle, actually). Stir a little bit this mixture right before adding it to the cake mixture.


  1. Wow, what a beautiful cake and pics! I also have the book "vintage cake", I love it!
    I really like your version ... I'm rediscovering the carrots! I like to put them in cakes!
    I also think of many recipes for Christmas! Understand you!
    a hug and see you soon

    1. Thanks a lot Ele! ^_^. I'm really loving that book, they are so many beautiful-looking cakes! I'm quite obsessed with carrots and pumpkins lately, hehe.

  2. Ets la reina dels dolços amb pastanaga Gemma! Aquest pastís fa una pinta realment espectacular, la teva germana segur que en va quedar molt contenta!
    Ja estic esperant les teves propostes Nadalenques, jeje!


    1. Moltes gràcies Víctor! La veritat és que si! A la meva germana li va agradar moltíssim! ^_^...em vaig passar tota la tarda a la cuina i també vaig fer les banderoles! Jeje.
      Demà mateix em posaré a fer una llista amb totes les idees i receptes que vull fer aquest Nadal, naturalment hauré de fer una sel.lecció perque si no em passaré tot els dies tancada a la cuina!

  3. Te un aspecte genial, mira que fa poc que la menjo i la unica que tinc feta de tarta i semblant es gràcies a la meva filla que li encanta. Aquesta veig que encara es veu mes la pastanaga, la meva queda mes camuflada amb la farina. Un tros pel meu té de la tarda aniria de maravella. Petons.

    1. Hola Silvia! :-)
      Moltes gràcies per les teves paraules!!! Jo em vaig declarar 'fan' de la carrot cake des que vaig tastar-ne un trocet que la meva germana em va donar una tarda que estàvem prenent un cafè al Woki Organic Market de Barcelona (abans es deia Baluard).
      Una abraçada!

  4. Hola Gemma, la carrot cake te quedó espectacular y del sabor ni dudo, en casa nos gusta muchísimo.
    Me voy a quedar con tu receta para ver si me gusta más que la mía y si es así...te la robo :) Un besito

  5. Hi Gemma,
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  6. Me encanta como te ha quedado y la pinta que tiene es deliciosa!!
    un beso

    1. Muchísimas gracias! =) Tengo ganas de volver a repetirla, jeje.

  7. Wow, what a beautiful cake and pics. I love it!
    thanx for posting this blogggg............


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