carrot cake, Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, SpicyFig, SpicyFig

Everyone who has ever had this carrot cake agrees that it’s the absolute best carrot cake recipe they’ve ever tried. The cake is super moist and delicious and scented with cinnamon and ginger. And the maple syrup spiked cream cheese frosting gives meaning to the saying, “it’s the icing on the cake”!

Clients, friends and family have asked me for years to share the recipe for my Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. Up until now, I have only ever shared the recipe with one chef who works for me. However, today is a special day. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Daniela (our amazing au pair) joining our family. When you have young kids there is only one way to celebrate – with cake!

carrot cake, Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, SpicyFig, SpicyFig
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Celebrating with Carrot Cake…

The girls requested that we make Daniela a Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. Mommy agreed because if I am going to indulge and eat cake during lockdown this is first on my list! So we asked Daniela to take the dog on a nice long walk and whipped up this amazing cake in her absence. When she returned she pretended not to notice the warm smell of ginger and cinnamon wafting through the house. She also pretended not to notice the girls scurrying around the house with hushed giggles and arms full of arts and crafts materials.

Daniela’s face was full of surprise when we burst into her room with homemade cards, balloons and a carrot cake. She then embraced the girls’ excitement and jumped on the trampoline with them while mummy cut the cake.

This bizarre period of quarantine and lockdown is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. I am certainly becoming more aware of what I am grateful for. Daniela is very high on my list. I wake up every morning and say a little thank you that I am locked in my home with 3 people whom I truly love. Daniela may not be blood but she is family. My girls adore her and I can not imagine doing this without her. She helps with homeschool, keeps the girls entertained and is the much needed adult company and friend that Mummy needs to keep it all together.

Cake seems insignificant compared to the contributions she’s made to our little family but if there is one cake to set the bar it is this carrot cake! So we all enjoyed a big fat slice on the couch last night after dinner while watching Modern Family. Lockdown could definitely be worse.

carrot cake, Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, SpicyFig, SpicyFig
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese

Carrot Cake….

… is a foreign idea here in France. Carrots in cake??? Americans can be soooo weird. It is funny to think that carrot cake came to popularity in the US during the ’70s in health food restaurants and markets. I love this cake but I am not about to clout it as health food! It is made with a tremendous amount of oil, sugar and eggs (not to mention cream cheese.) But cake is meant for special occasions. You aren’t going to be eating this for breakfast! (Although my children did just that this morning.) However, if you want to try a healthier alternative you can make these lovely Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins.

Icing the Cake..

The recipe below makes enough icing for a rustic frosting of the cake. That means that you pour icing over the top of the first (bottom) cake. Place the second cake on top and pour icing over the top and allow the icing to drip down the sides of the cake. Yummy and pretty in a simple, rustic way.

If you want to frost the cake completely (as in the photos above) you need to increase all of the icing ingredients by 1.5x except the maple syrup. The maple syrup adds gorgeous flavour but it also makes the icing more runny. So, if you want a perfectly iced cake you need a bit more icing and less maple syrup. This way you will have enough to lightly ice the cake all the way around once. This is called the crumb crust. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for the icing to harden up. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the remaining icing to polish off the cake with a more even layer of icing. Ta da!

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Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake, Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, SpicyFig, SpicyFig

The world’s best carrot cake recipe

 

  • Author: Jessica Verity
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups/250g of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups/400g sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups/290 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups packed peeled, grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (you can omit nuts and add more raisins or vice versa)
  • For Icing:
  • 10 oz /285 g cream cheese, room temperature (or more, see note above)
  • 5 tablespoons/70g butter, room temperature (or more, see note above)
  • 2 1/2 cups/ 300g powdered (confectionery) sugar (or more, see note above)
  • 1/4 cup/60ml maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat a oven to 350F/180C. Grease 2 round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger and whisk together to combine.
  3. In a large bowl combine the sugar and oil. Whisk to combine well. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk to incorporate each one. 
  4. Stir the carrots into the oil and sugar mixture. Then stir the flour mixture into the bowl with the carrots and oil. Whisk until all is well combined. 
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 cake pans and bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool while you make the frosting. You can not frost the cake until the cakes are COMPLETELY cool! 
  7. For the frosting: (READ NOTE ABOVE TO DECIDE YOUR QUANTITY NEEDED)
  8. Place the cream cheese and butter (both at room temperature) in the bowl of an electric mixer or in a large bowl (and use electric beaters). Beat until light and fluffy.
  9. Sift the powdered sugar into the mixture and beat on low speed until well combined. Pour in the maple syrup and and beat to combine.
  10. Place the frosting in the refrigerator until hard enough to spread, about 35-40 minutes.
  11. Frost the cake according to the instructions above.