Steamed Carrot Cake
I just turned a quarter century old recently and Steamed Carrot Cake was my choice of birthday cake for this year.
I decided to make this Steamed Carrot Cake at my office so that I could share a little bit of happiness with my second family. There was not much cake, so everyone must be content with a slice of the cake. Just like the typical office, the kitchen did not have an oven or microwave. Nevertheless, it could not stop me from making a cake for my birthday.
There is no special equipment needed to make this recipe, all you need is a steamer. If you do not have a steamer at home, just a large deep pan with a lid will do. I was confident I could make this no-bake cake because I had tried the same method with my previous Steamed Chocolate Cream Cheese Layered Cake.
The carrot cake is moist and the texture is just like the baked cake that people might not even know that it was actually not baked. Although it contains carrots, yet the carrot flavor is very subtle and overpowered with brown sugar and spices. I use some ground cinnamon and nutmeg, which add a wonderful flavor to this cake, but are not too overpowering. Each forkful tastes super soft and extra lush, trust me.
Tips for Making Steamed Carrot Cake
Making carrot cake is pretty easy. Here are some tips for making successful moist Steamed Carrot Cake.
1. Brown sugar for extra moist cake
I always use more brown sugar than granulated sugar because it adds more moisture and depth of flavor to this carrot cake. I use the brown sugar and granulated sugar 3:1 ratio which makes the cake darker because of the molasses in brown sugar.
2. Spice your cake
Spices are what makes the carrot cake even better than it could ever be on its own. The recipe calls for ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Just use the right amount I have written on my recipe because not only adding too much spice can be too overwhelming the carrot flavor, but you also do not want to under-spice your batter.
3. Grate carrots finely
The carrot is the star of the cake and the key of making moist cake. Make sure to grate the carrots at home to ensure their freshness. Do not use packaged pre-shredded carrots because they are hard and dry.
My carrot cake recipe uses 300 gr of finely grated carrots. This is usually about 1 very large carrot for me. Peel the carrot before grating them. You can shred the carrots using either a grater of a food processor. To make sure the carrots are cooked properly, they should be grated finely enough to be distributed throughout the batter evenly.
4. Add some add-in ingredients
Raisins and nuts, especially walnuts or pecans are a common additions to carrot cake. You can either use one of them or even leave them out because I know that not everyone is a fan of them. If you decided to add them, I suggest using about 1 cup of add-in ingredients. I particularly love raisins because they add some chewy texture into the cake. You get a little bit of surprise for every bite you take.
5. Tap the bottom of the pan
Once you have transferred the batter to your prepared cake pan, tap the bottom of the pan on the kitchen counter to eliminate remaining air bubbles in the batter and even out the surface.
6. Preheat the steamer
Just like baking a cake, you need to preheat the steamer to cook the cake immediately and properly. Before you place your pan into your steamer, make sure that your water is already boiling.
7. Avoid water drips on cake batter during steaming
You need to prevent the condensation from dripping down onto the batter, while keeping the heat in to keep the cake warm. I tied a thin towel or cloth under the bottom of the lid to catch the condensation before it drips. Alternatively, you can cover the pans with aluminium foil during steaming, just to prevent the water drips on cake batter.
8. Cool the cake completely
Cream cheese frosting will quickly melt if it touch warm cake. Let the cakes cool completely on racks before assembling and frosting.
9. Soften the cream cheese and butter
Cream cheese makes the ultimate frosting for this Steamed Carrot Cake. You need to use room temperature cream cheese and butter for smooth and velvety frosting. A cold cream cheese could be lumpy so you need to set out the cream cheese a couple of hours before making this recipe.
10. Adjust the frosting’s sweetness
I do not understand why most cream cheese frosting calls for 4 cups confectioners sugar for 8 oz (225 gr) cream cheese. The amount of sugar confuses me. That is why I reduce the sugar into 2 cups for 16 oz (450 gr) cream cheese and it works just fine with the right amount of sweetness. If you feel like your frosting does not taste sweet enough, just try adding more 1-2 cups of confectioners sugar into the frosting.
Yeay, happy birthday to me! Wishing myself a great another year ahead. 🙂
Steamed Carrot Cake
Carrot cake has never been the flashiest dessert, but the simplicity is indisputable classic. Now, you can make it anywhere on a stovetop.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 gr)
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (300 gr)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (300 gr)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 300 gr finely grated fresh carrot
- 1 cup raisins or nuts (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz cream cheese (450 gr) softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter (230 gr) softened
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cup confectioners sugar (250 gr)
- 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts (125 gr) (optional)
Grease two 8-inch round pans and line the bottom with a parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
Whisk in vegetable oil into the batter little by little until everything is well incorporated.
With a spatula, fold dry ingredients to the batter until well incorporated. Do not overmix.
Stir in grated carrot and raisins until well combined.
Cover the lid's steamer with kitchen towel or cover the pans with aluminium foil to prevent condensation from the lid from falling on to the steamed cakes. Bring the water in your steamer to a boil over a medium-high heat.
Pour the cake batter evenly between both prepared cake pans. Steam for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each one comes out clean.
Remove from heat and allow carrot cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto cooling rack to cool completely. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth.
Beat in milk, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar well combined.
Level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler. Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Decorate with toasted chopped walnuts or other topping if desired.