Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

April 24, 2019
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Moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe

This carrot cake is moist, tender and coated with the most luscious cream cheese frosting (no butter, low-sugar). I particularly love this cake for Easter but of course, it’s a classic year round.

 

Usually, a classic cream cheese frosting consists of cream cheese, butter, and a lot of icing sugar – typically 3-4 cups. I entirely omitted the butter for this recipe and greatly reduced the amount of sugar. You could call it skinny cream cheese frosting but it’s still velvety, creamy, slightly tangy, and highly addictive.

Moist carrot cake with low-sugar cream cheese frosting recipe

 

I am usually a fan of classic, fuss-free cakes without any playful elements, but ever since I’ve stumbled upon a picture of this cake decoration on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it some time.

 

No worries, you don’t even need a piping bag. A ziploc bag will do the job just fine as I’ve used one for applying the tiny carrots in the picture. I made the tiny carrots by coloring a part of the frosting with orange and green food coloring.
&nbps;

I’m not necessarily an expert at decorating/frosting cakes. Somehow, I miss the talent … and patience. Especially as far as glazes and frostings are involved. But even I managed to decorate this cake. And thus, so can you!

Easy carrot cake without frosting

Quick and Easy carrot cake recipe

Easy carrot cake version: Omit the frosting and dust with sugar.

Sometimes, if I’m not in the mood for a frosting, I make a ‘healthy carrot cake’ simply by omitting the frosting and instead dusting the cake lightly with powdered sugar. Less work, less calories, and still a perfect and delicious carrot cake.

Step-by-step recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients for Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe

Grate carrots and chop nuts.

Peel and grate carrots. Finely chop walnuts – either with a knife or in a food processor.

Low-sugar No butter cream cheese frosting recipe for carrot cake

Cake batter: Beat butter, sugar, and eggs.

Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer (hand- or stand mixer) until creamy, then add one egg at a time until the mixture is light and airy, around 5 minutes.

Batter for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake batter in springform pan.

Add cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until all ingredients are combined well. Stir in walnuts and grated carrots. Add flour and baking powder and briefly mix until all ingredients are combined. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth it out.

How to bake a Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Bake for about 55 minutes.

Bake in the preheated oven at 350 °F (175 °C) until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, around 50-55 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely and either dust with powdered sugar or decorate with frosting.

No butter low sugar cream cheese frosting recipe

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla (left). Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form (right).

For the frosting: Sift powdered sugar, if lumpy. Beat heavy cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar briefly until smooth. Do not overmix or the frosting will liquefy.

 

Frosting for carrot cake food coloring

Color a part of the cream cheese mixture.

Set a small amount of cream cheese mixture aside for coloring the little carrots. Color the frosting you set aside  with green and orange food coloring and place them in two ziploc bags. Cut off a tiny corner.

 

Add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat for a few seconds using a mixer. Keep the frosting chilled until ready to use.

Easy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe

Cut cake in half horizontally and spread with a layer of frosting. Do not leave as much space towards the edge as I did here. 1/8-inch is enough.

Cut the cake horizontally. Spread a portion of the frosting onto the bottom layer of the cake, leaving 1/8-inch (3 mm) to the edge.  Put the second cake layer on top with the smooth, straight side up.

No butter low sugar cream cheese frosting recipe for carrot cake

First make a crumb coat, then apply the remaining frosting.

Tip: For a more even and beautiful frosting, make a crumb coat first. You can crumb coat a cake by adding a thin layer of frosting to the exterior to fill gaps and trap stray crumbs before adding a thicker, final coat of frosting.

 

After crumb coating, pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes until the frosting is firm to the touch. Apply the remaining frosting with an offset spatula or long knife, and then smooth it out.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe

Decorate the cake by piping on little carrots, using the orange and green frosting. Decoration idea (littel carrots): The Gourmet Gourmand

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy recipe

Enjoy!

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan or springform pan

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This carrot cake is moist, tender and coated with the most luscious cream cheese frosting (no butter, low-sugar). The frosting is smooth, creamy and airy and has just the right tangy cream cheese flavor. Velvet perfection! For a quick and easy carrot cake, omit the frosting and give the cake a light dusting with powdered sugar after baking.

Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 2-3 medium carrots (140 g grated or about 1 tightly packed cup)
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) walnuts, chopped
  • 1 stick (114 g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) sour cream
  • 160 g (about 1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Cream cheese frosting:
  • >> The amounts given yields enough frosting for an 8-inch (20 cm) cake with a center layer. If you have a larger cake or simply prefer your cake with a thick layer of frosting, you have to make more (1.5 or 2-fold).
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, cold
  • 340 g/12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g (about 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • Decoration:
  • Orange and green food coloring or powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

    Cake:
  1. Peel and grate carrots. Finely chop walnuts - either with a knife or in a food processor.
  2. Line the bottom of a round 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan or springform pan with parchment paper and either brush the side of the pan with oil or line it with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 ° C).
  3. Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer (hand- or stand mixer) until creamy, then add one egg at a time until the mixture is light and airy, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until all ingredients are combined well.
  5. Stir in walnuts and grated carrots.
  6. Add flour and baking powder and briefly mix until all ingredients are combined.
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth it out. Bake in the preheated oven at 350 °F (175 °C) until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, around 50-55 minutes.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely and either dust with powdered sugar or decorate with frosting.
  9. Frosting:
  10. Sift powdered sugar, if lumpy.
  11. Beat heavy cream with a mixer until soft peaks form.
  12. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar briefly until smooth. Do not overmix or the frosting will liquefy.
  13. Set a small amount of cream cheese mixture aside for coloring the little carrots.
  14. Add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat for a few seconds using a mixer. Keep the frosting chilled until ready to use.
  15. Color the part of the frosting you set aside earlier with green and orange food coloring and place them in two ziploc bags. Cut off a tiny corner.
  16. Assembling and frosting the cake:
  17. If you pulled a cake out of the oven, which is slightly domed, cut the top off, then turn the cake over so the nice flat bottom becomes the top. Cut the cake horizontally.
  18. Spread a portion of the frosting onto the bottom layer of the cake, leaving 1/8-inch (3 mm) to the edge. Put the second cake layer on top with the smooth, straight side up.
  19. Tip: For a more even and beautiful frosting, make a crumb coat first. You can crumb coat a cake by adding a thin layer of frosting to the exterior to fill gaps and trap stray crumbs before adding a thicker, final coat of frosting.
  20. After crumb coating, pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes until the frosting is firm to the touch. Apply the remaining frosting with an offset spatula or long knife, and then smooth it out.
  21. Decorate the cake by piping on little carrots, using the orange and green frosting. Enjoy!
https://www.lilvienna.com/carrot-cake-cream-cheese-frosting/

Did you follow this recipe You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to enjoy@lilvienna.com
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting was last modified: April 24th, 2019 by Ursula

6 thoughts on “Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Akansha

    I’d like to make this into cupcakes. Do you think it would yield 12 cupcakes or more? Also, any ideas on how to adjust the cooking time for cupcakes?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Akansha,
      Great idea. I’ve never made the recipe into cupcakes, but usually the cooking time is less. I’d guess between 20 and 25 minutes. The batter is for a small cake (8 inch / 20 cm) so I’d say about 12 muffins. But if you use smaller cupcake tins, maybe more. But all of these are guesses. If the batter is for more than 12 cupcakes, simply bake another batch with the tin that comes out of the oven. The batter doesn’t mind resting on the counter for a while. Hopy you’ll try the recipe, I love this cake!

      Reply
  2. Alisha Ross

    Thank you for this great recipe! I baked your cupcakes twice already for my coworkers, both times as mini cupcakes, and they always came out great. It got me around 100 cupcakes – a lot to decorate – but totally worth it! And nobody would have ever guessed there were beets in it!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Alisha,
      Happy to hear that the cupcakes turned out great. Wow, a hundred mini-cupcakes – that’s really a lot to decorate! I love how moist the cake batter is :-) Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Reply
  3. Adam Stuart

    Hi,
    I just tried this on my friend’s birthday celebration. Things really turned out excellent as i thought, also this is not so complicated as we generally think. The cupcakes are really yummy, i wish if could send you to taste them.
    Thank You!

    Reply

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