Carrot Cake for Easter

I went to my sister’s house for Easter. My contribution was carrot cake with candied carrot curls as garnish on the top. The curls were easy, but a bit time consuming. Next time I might coat them with sugar for a little more sweetness. But they totally looked cuuuuute! (Which was what I was going for!)


I love carrot cake, probably my favorite type of cake when done well … yours looks beautiful.
Do you have a recipe, photo of the cut side? I see vanilla bean in your icing, is it cream cheese? TIA

This is the Cooks Illustrated spiced carrot cake. My tweak was adding raisens. It’s really moist and delicious and easy to put together. It’s an oil cake, which helps with the ease of putting it together.

And yes, there is vanilla bean in the cream cheese frosting! It really adds a depth of flavor you don’t get with vanilla extract alone.

I actually love this cake so much I did two batches at the same time! The one with the photos went to the Easter dinner. Then I did a second cake in a 13x9 pan, which I kept for myself, and to give away to friends. It was surpisingly easy to end of with two fabulous cakes, since I had everything out.

That’s Mom in the background, getting ready to celebrate her 88th birthday next week!


Carrot Cake

12 1/2 ounces (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound medium carrots, peeled
1 cup raisins
10 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar)
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


2 vanilla beans (one tsp of vanilla extract per one 2 inch piece of bean)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, cloves and salt in large bowl; set aside.

In food processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots; transfer carrots to bowl with flour mixture. Add raisins to bowl.

In the food processor process granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds.

With machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer.

Scrape mixture into bowl with flour mixture. Mix until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (my time was 42 minutes), rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

FOR THE FROSTING: Using a paring knife, halve and scrape seeds from 2 vanilla beans. Process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed.

Add confectioners’ sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

Run paring knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto serving platter. Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)


Looking good mom, happy birthday :smiley:

Thank you