Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake

Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake

Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake

King Arthur 2020 Recipe of the Year

Golden sugar adds a subtle flavor boost to our classic carrot cake recipe, which we’ve fashioned here into a perfect-for-snacking tea loaf. (See "tips," below, for details on how to turn this into crowd-friendly cupcakes.) Freshly grated nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon bring a hint of spice to everyone’s familiar favorite, cream cheese frosting. 

The Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake was one of our Bake of the Week recipes for April 2022.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
1 hr 5 mins to 1 hr 15 mins
Total
2 hrs 15 mins
Yield
one loaf + 6 to 8 cupcakes; or 24 cupcakes
Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake
Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake
Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake - select to zoom
Spiced Carrot Snacking Cake - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a tea loaf pan (or 9” x 5” loaf pan) and one standard muffin or cupcake pan. If using cupcake papers, line the pan with 8 papers and grease the papers. Note: To skip the tea loaf and make 2 dozen cupcakes, see "tips," below.

  2. To make the cake batter: In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and spices.

  3. Whisk the flour with the baking powder and baking soda and add to the bowl, stirring to combine.

  4. Add the carrots and nuts and mix until just blended.

  5. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan, filling it about three-quarters full (about 1168g batter for the tea loaf pan or 1084g for the 9” x 5” pan). Spoon the remainder of the batter into the muffin pan. (You’ll have enough batter for about six cupcakes if you’ve used a tea loaf pan, eight cupcakes if you’ve used a 9” x 5” pan.)

  6. Place the cupcakes and loaf on the middle rack of the oven. Bake the cupcakes for 21 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean. Bake the tea loaf for 45 to 50 minutes; or the 9” x 5” loaf for 65 to 75 minutes, tenting with foil after 45 minutes if the top is browning too quickly.

  7. Remove the cakes from the oven, and after about 10 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

  8. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy.

  9. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and spices.

  10. Return to medium speed and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy.

  11. To make the topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

  12. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 320°F. Do not stir.

  13. Remove the syrup from the heat and add the walnuts.

  14. Carefully transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Cool completely before breaking into small pieces.

  15. Frost the loaf and cupcakes; garnish with the walnut brittle topping before serving.

  16. Storage information: Store cake, securely covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Either grating carrots on the medium holes of a box grater or using the shredding disk of a food processor produces a medium grate, which yields typical carrot cake texture in your final cake. For smoother texture (which is especially nice in cupcakes), use your box grater's fine-hole side; or process carrots in your food processor using the steel blade until they're very finely chopped. 

  • To make 2 dozen cupcakes: Lightly grease two standard muffin pans or cupcake pans; or line the pans with papers and grease the papers. Prepare the batter as directed and scoop the batter into the prepared pans, using about 55g for each cupcake; a muffin scoop works well here. Bake the cupcakes in a preheated 350°F oven for 21 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting and garnish with walnut brittle.