Given my deep love for carrot cake, it doesn’t seem right that this is the first carrot cake recipe that I’ve posted in the 10 years that I’ve been writing this blog. And yes, 10 YEARS! Believe it or not, I wrote my first post on Peanut Butter Runner on April 16, 2010 so I missed the official blogiversary by one day but we can say this cake is in its honor.
Friends, we have come a long way in 10 years. That is an understatement and also another post for another time. For today, we talk carrot cake…which is totally on brand, right?
8×8 SMALL-BATCH, SINGLE LAYER CARROT CAKE
Baking a carrot cake has been on my mind for the last few weeks. The bakery where I usually get it by the slice is closed right now and I have been seeing carrot cake all over blogs and social media for spring and Easter baking. I have also been wanting to try the recipe that my dad uses because his carrot cakes are so good.
I am particular about my carrot cakes. First, I’m not a huge fan of the recipes that call for pineapple in the batter, although I am on team pecans and raisins. Second, I like a carrot cake that has more of a tender, traditional cake texture versus the heavier, denser and almost “wet” variations. (Do you know what I’m talking about, haha?)
The issue was that I did not need to bake an entire two-layer carrot cake for myself and an almost two year old. Even though cake freezes really well in individual slices, I didn’t need that much cake on hand.
So I decided to play around with the recipe to make it a small-batch friendly and it turned out so well! I knew that I had to share it here because I like to think that you guys appreciate cake as much as I do but also the moderation of not having a whole cake in the house. 🙂
When it comes to the cake pan, I love baking with WS Gold Touch. And you should definitely line your cake pans with parchment! I place the parchment under the cake pan and trace the pan with a pencil and then cut it out and put it in the pan. Worth the work, I promise!
Don’t be scared of the spices! They are truly what makes carrot cake special. This recipe uses cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
The toasted pecans and raisins are optional. You could also sub walnuts.
Okay, time for the recipe!
8×8 SMALL-BATCH, SINGLE LAYER CARROT CAKE RECIPEPrint
Love carrot cake but don’t want to make a whole cake? This recipe is for you! This small-batch, single layer carrot cake recipe features a soft, caky texture and a spicy, sweet flavor.
FOR THE CAKE
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and shredded with a box grater (I used 3 medium carrots)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
FOR THE FROSTING
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (maybe a little more if you like a sweeter frosting)
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper and spray liberally with cooking spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt in large bowl; set aside.
- Shred carrots using large holes of box grater. Transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.
- In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium and with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil).
- Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
- Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients, pecans and raisins by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. If you love instant read thermometers like I do, the internal temperature of your cake should be around 205. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or in large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
- Add sifted confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.
- If you want smooth frosting, it is super important that the butter and cream cheese are softened and the powdered sugar is sifted.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
Keywords: cake, carrot cake, baking
8×8 SMALL-BATCH, SINGLE LAYER CARROT CAKE PINNABLE GRAPHIC
What’s your favorite cake flavor?
Carrot cake…nuts + raisins or no?