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Light and Fluffy Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot sheet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting

5 from 3 reviews

This one-layer carrot sheet cake is moist, light and fluffy perfection! Made from scratch with only a few add-ins and topped with an orange-infused, whipped cream and cream cheese frosting! 

Ingredients

Scale

Carrot cake ingredients

  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 2 and 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 4 eggs – separate the whites from the yolks
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie seasoning (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans – chopped small
  • 1 orange for zesting and juicing (you’ll want to reserve half of the zest for the frosting)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened at room-temperature
  • 8 ounce container of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whipping cream
  • remaining orange zest (refer to carrot cake ingredients above)

 

 

Instructions

Carrot cake steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F and spray your 9×13-inch pan with baking spray. Line the length of the baking pan with parchment (optional). Skip the parchment if you plan to slice and frost the cake in the pan.
  2. Peel and shred the carrots using the fine side of the box grater.
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and reserve both.
  4. In a clean, dry, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, dry spices and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and oil together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add both sugars, vanilla extract, the juice from 1/2 of the orange and half of the orange zest. Continue to beat for 1 minute, then turn the mixer off.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to fold the carrots and nuts into the wet mixture. Add the flour/dry ingredients and continue to fold until you can’t see any streaks of flour.
  7. Beat the egg whites on high speed in a clean mixing bowl with a clean whisk until they form frothy peaks (this takes about 2 minutes). If there are any traces of yolk in the bowl or on the whisk, the egg whites won’t get stiff!
  8. Fold the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula. The egg whites should be distributed evenly and the batter will look frothy. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
  9. Bake the carrot cake for 40 minutes When your cake comes out of the oven, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done. The edges of the cake should feel soft when you press down gently on them.
  10. Cool the cake fully in the pan or run a butter knife along the edges and flip it over to release it once  fully cooled.

Frosting the carrot cake

  1. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract together until smooth.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar 1/4 of a cup at a time and continue to beat at medium speed.
  3. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat the frosting until it’s fluffy and creamy (about 2 full minutes). Add remaining orange zest during the last few seconds of beating.
  4. Once the cake has fully cooled, you can frost the cake right in the pan or you can remove the cake from the pan and frost the top and sides. Cut the cake into squares and serve.

Notes

  • Use 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger in place of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes and then transfer to a metal cooling rack and let finish cooling. I recommend a total cooling time of at least 1 hour. You can also frost the cake right in the pan, but it may take slightly longer to cool.

Keywords: carrot cake, sheet cake, cream cheese frosting, baking, dessert, holiday, easter