Carrot Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Don’t feel like making a 3-layer carrot cake? Try this carrot snack cake infused with warm spices and frosted with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Your house will smell amazing when you bake this cake!

top view of carrot snack cake with cream cheese frosting

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Easy to make. Sometimes we don’t have the time energy to make a 3-layer cake, so if this is your case, snack cakes are perfect for you. This moist carrot snack cake with cream cheese frosting only needs basic pantry ingredients and even a beginner baker can easily make this cake.

Portable. Unlike layered cakes, snack cakes are not as delicate and fragile so this is easy to transport if you need to bring it to another place.

Warm Spices. This carrot snack cake has all the comforting spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. For simplicity, I used a pumpkin spice mix which contains a mix of all these ingredients.

Cream Cheese Frosting. One of the best things about this carrot snack cake is the dreamy cream cheese frosting. It’s not overly sweet, and and has a bit of a tangy flavor.

This cream cheese frosting recipe is great to have on hand to spread on cakes or fill sandwich cookies!

The full, printable recipe with detailed instructions is available at the end of the post, but I recommend you to read through below to benefit from the tips, visuals, and FAQs before making this recipe!

a slice of carrot snack cake on a white plate

What You’ll Need

Shop efficiently (treat this as your grocery list) and gather your ingredients at home without running circles in your kitchen. (i.e. One trip to the fridge to get all your dairy needs.)

Ingredient Shopping List:

DAIRY

  • 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter for the carrot cake, at room temperature
  • 75g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter for the cream cheese frosting, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs – the weight equivalent (without shell) is about 100 grams
  • 250 grams Cream Cheese
    • Use the block kind (not the ones in the tub) and full-fat for a rich, decadent frosting
    • The cream cheese needs to be softened to room temperature to avoid lumps in your frosting.

PANTRY

  • 240g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated white sugar
  • 155 grams (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (about 100 grams without shell)
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) neutral oil (canola oil or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 160 grams (about 1 1/2 cups, loosely packed) grated carrots
  • 60 grams chopped pecans or walnuts(optional)
    • Adds a little crunch and texture and goes so well with the cake and frosting – make sure that your nuts are toasted!
  • 140 grams (1 1/4 cup) icing sugar/ powdered sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt
ingredients you need to make carrot snack cake

Tools & Equipment:

  • 8-inch square pan
  • parchment paper
  • fine mesh strainer or flour sifter
  • icing spatula / offset spatula

How to Make Carrot Snack Cake Step-by-Step

STEP 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Position a rack in the centre of the oven.

STEP 2. Grease the bottom and sides of your 8-inch pan then line with parchment paper that has an overhang on the sides. This will make it easier to remove the cake from the pan later on.

greased and line 8x8 pan

STEP 3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

sifting the dry ingredients

STEP 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, white granulated sugar, dark brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on medium speed (Speed # 6) or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

STEP 5. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed (Speed 4) for 3 minutes until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that they are evenly mixed.

STEP 6. Add the flour mixture and the grated carrots. Mix on low speed until just combined. This should not take more than 1 minute.

STEP 7. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake the snack cake for about 30 minutes, until the center springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring into a wire/ cooling rack.

a slice of moist carrot snack cake without frosting

While waiting for the carrot snack cake to cool down let’s make this dreamy creamy frosting, shall we?

STEP 8. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter. Starting with the mixer on low speed and slowly increasing to medium speed (Speed #6) to avoid creating an icing powder storm, mix until combined. Mine took around 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

STEP 9. With mixer on medium speed (Speed 6), add the pinch of salt then the softened cream cheese in 3 additions. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition to ensure that they are all evenly mixed. Beat for another 3 minutes in medium speed, or until light and fluffy.

STEP 10. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the surface of the cake and sprinkles with chopped toasted pecans or walnuts.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should carrot snack cake be refrigerated?

Cakes with cream cheese frosting should be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated. However, it is fine to let the cake sit out to come to room temperature before serving.

Can I bake the carrot cake in advance?

You can bake the cake 1 day in advance. When the cake has cooled to warm in the pan, cover the pan tightly with plastric wrap and keep at room temperature until the next day. Put the frosting on the day you will be serving the cake.

Can I make the cream cheese frosting in advance?

You can make the cream cheese frosting in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer fo up to 2 months.

If refrigerated, let soften at room temperature. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to use, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese frosting again on high speed for about 5 minutes.

Can I use a hand mixer?

Yes, you can use an electric hand mixer. Note that the mixing time will change as it might take longer.

a slice of carrot snack cake with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans

❤️ Tried this recipe and loved it? If you made this recipe or any other recipe on this site, I would love to know! ❤️

Rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Or tag @thebakeologie on Instagram and hashtag it #bakeologie !

Printable Recipe Card

Baking in Grams

Bakeologie ensures that all recipes are meticulously crafted with gram measurements to allow you to effortlessly replicate them in your kitchen (regardless of location) with guaranteed success.

Volume measurements are prone to significant inaccuracies and can result in errors due to the inconsistency of measuring cups.

A common example: 1 cup of flour, depending on how you scooped it, can be anywhere form 120 grams to 145 grams, while 120 grams is still 120 grams regardless of how you scooped it.

Providing precise gram measurements (with the exception of minor ingredients, which are given in tsp/tbsp) enables you to prepare these recipes with precision and minimal cleanup. The only tool you need is a kitchen scale. They are cheap and come in cute colors, too!

In case you remain unconvinced, the recipe card also includes volume measurements, but I strongly recommend that you bake using a digital scale for a more accurate result.

I also maintain a Baking Conversion Chart which I use for recipe testings.

Carrot Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 12
Author: trish
This moist carrot cake in smaller form (8×8) is infused with warm spices and topped with a dreamy cream cheese frosting. Simple to make with basic pantry ingredients.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

For the Carrot Cake

  • 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 113 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 100 grams (½ cup) white granulated sugar
  • 155 grams (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
  • 100 grams ( 2 large eggs) egg (weight is without shell)
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) neutral oil (canola or grapseed oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 160 grams (1½ cups) grated carrots
  • 60 grams chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 250 grams cream cheese block at room temperature, full-fat
  • 75 grams (⅓ cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 140 grams (1¼ cup) icing sugar/ powdered sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions 

Make the Carrot Cake Batter

  • PREP. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C (no fan) then position a rack in the centre of the oven.
    Grease the bottom and sides of your 8-inch square pan, then line with parchment paper that has an overhang on the sides. This will make it easier to remove the cake from the pan later on.
  • SIFT. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
    1½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • CREAM BUTTER & SUGAR. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, white granulated sugar, dark brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on medium speed (Speed # 6) or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
    113 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter
    100 grams (½ cup) white granulated sugar
    155 grams (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
  • ADD THE LIQUID INGREDIENTS. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed (Speed 4) for 3 minutes until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that they are evenly mixed.
    100 grams ( 2 large eggs) egg
    55 grams (1/4 cup) neutral oil (canola or grapseed oil)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ADD THE DRY INGREDIENTS. Add the flour mixture and the grated carrots. Mix on lowest speed, until just combined. This should not take more than 1 minute.
    160 grams (1½ cups) grated carrots
  • BAKE & COOL. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until the center springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring into a wire/ cooling rack.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • MAKE THE FROSTING. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter. Starting with the mixer on low speed and slowly increasing to medium speed (Speed 6) to avoid creating an icing powder storm. Mix until combined, around 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
    With mixer on medium speed (Speed 6), add the pinch of salt then the softened cream cheese in 3 additions. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition to ensure that they are all evenly mixed. Beat for another 3 minutes in medium speed, or until light and fluffy.
    250 grams cream cheese block
    75 grams (⅓ cup) unsalted butter
    140 grams (1¼ cup) icing sugar/ powdered sugar
    pinch of fine sea salt
  • ASSEMBLE THE CAKE. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the surface of the cake and sprinkles with chopped toasted pecans or walnuts.
    60 grams chopped pecans or walnuts

Notes

The weight of my batter was around 850 grams.
Tried this recipe?Mention @theBakeologie or tag #Bakeologie!

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