This easy, no-fuss Carrot Cake is a springtime (Easter!) favorite. A rich flavorful carrot cake baked in a single layer and topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, for a sweet cake that’s hard to stop at just one piece.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Can we talk about spring or Easter classics for a minute? What do you think of, when you think of traditional spring or Easter foods?
For me, it’s deviled eggs – an appetizer I forever link to Easter, because that’s what ended up happening to all of those Easter eggs my brothers and I colored as kids. It’s Cadbury Creme Eggs, a sweet treat that my husband loves but I never really grew up eating a lot of. In my family, Easter dinner was frequently a baked ham, but I don’t really remember the sides. Over the past few years, as Easter became a very small holiday as my family and I spread out, I’ve made my own dinner tradition – making a Beef Wellington for the other couple that we usually spend the holiday with.
And for dessert, I think of carrot cake. I’m not really sure why – I don’t have any strong memories of it being served on Easter. But for some reason, that cake just feels like a spring treat to me.
When I was growing up, I was not a fan of carrot cake. It wasn’t the cake part that I didn’t like – it was the cream cheese frosting. It was never quite sweet enough for me. But as I’ve gotten older and tasted different versions of the classic cake, I realized that it doesn’t have to be that way.
So for my final day of #SpringSweetsWeek, I decided to remake my family’s recipe, passed down from a great aunt. I left the cake recipe alone – it was perfectly moist, flavorful (it’s not as cinnamony as you’d think), and delicious – but I did tweak the cream cheese frosting recipe. The ingredient list I was given did not have very specific ingredient quantities to begin with (i.e. half a bag of confectioner’s sugar) and I didn’t quite trust that given that it was an old recipe. The biggest change was that I added a hefty dose of vanilla extract to give the frosting more depth in flavor.
This cake ended up being a hit. It received rave reviews at my monthly knit night, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers. Before you check out the recipe below, be sure to check out the recipes that my blogging friends have shared today. And at the bottom of this post, you can enter the #SpringSweetsWeek giveaway to win one of the fabulous prizes (details in Monday’s Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie post). Thanks again to Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting this event!
- Blood Orange Margarita Cheesecake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Carrot Cake by Books ‘n Cooks
- Chocolate Popcorn Peeps Treats by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Moist Pineapple Snack Cake by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Pesche Dolci by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Tiny Yellow Cake with Strawberry Jam and Chocolate Ganache by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- I consider this cake “no-fuss” because it makes one single layer cake, making life just a little easier. No stacking and extra icing layers and sides.
- I used chopped pecans in the cake as well as pecans to decorate the top, because I enjoy the slight crunch that the pecans add to the cake. Feel free to skip them, or swap out another nut or even chocolate chips.
This easy, no-fuss Carrot Cake is a springtime (Easter!) favorite. A rich flavorful carrot cake baked in a single layer and topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, for a sweet cake that's hard to stop at just one piece.
For the Cake:
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. flour
- 3 c. grated carrot from about 1 lb. carrots
- 1 c. chopped pecans optional
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 c. confectioner's sugar
For the Garnish
- 15 pecan halves optional
Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT grated carrots and pecans. Mix by hand or with a mixer, until ingredients are just barely incorporated.
Fold in gated carrots and pecans.
Pour batter into a 9x13 inch non-stick baking pan (no need to grease). Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, before frosting.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting & Frost the Cake:
In a medium bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract, and then confectioner's sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth.
Using a butter knife, spread frosting evenly over cake. Garnish, if desired, with pecan halves - one half per slice when cut (or, chop, and sprinkle over top).
Store, covered at room temperature, for up to 3-4 days.
Thank you #SpringSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Swiss Diamond, Nancy’s Yogurt, Barlean’s, Sprinkle Pop, PEEPS, Melissa’s Produce, and Adams Extracts for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #SpringSweetsWeek giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #SpringSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #SpringSweetsWeek posts or entry.