Delicious and perfectly moist Naked Carrot Cake for any celebratory occasion. It is made with fresh carrots, a perfect blend of spices, and topped with heavenly cream cheese frosting.
I should admit that the carrot cake will forever and always be my favorite kind of cake for birthdays. In fact, I have made the steamed version of this a year ago for my birthday to show you how I love carrot cake. But this time, I made the recipe into a smaller three-layered cake rather than a bigger two-layered cake instead. You can check out the recipe at my previous Steamed Carrot Cake post. I think the recipe will be perfect who those who want to bake carrot cake without an oven.
There are a lot of things I love about carrot cake. Firstly, carrot cake is extra moist and not dry like any other cake. Furthermore, it is full of flavor from the grated carrots, brown sugar, and the spices that make it almost impossible to stop at one piece. I always love the spices in my carrot cake. They bring such a wonderful flavor to this cake without being too overpowering. Not too little and not too much warming spices make the flavor of all of those fresh carrots shine through.
The other good news about this recipe is how easy to make than it looks. You can make both the cake and frosting without a mixer if you like. Once you realize how easy it is to make this from scratch, you will want to make it over and over again like me.
Tips For Making Naked Carrot Cake
Here are some helpful tips for making a perfect carrot cake.
1. Grate the fresh carrots finely
The carrot is the star of the cake and the key to making a moist cake. Therefore, 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 or two medium carrots for me. Peel the carrot before grating them. You can shred the carrots using either a grater or a food processor. I like to hand grate my carrots since I prefer the texture. To make sure the carrots are cooked properly, they should be grated finely enough to be distributed throughout the batter evenly.
2. Make into a bigger and shorter cake
This Naked Carrot Cake recipe actually uses the same cake recipe in Steamed Carrot Cake but with half of the cream cheese frosting. You can make this recipe in two 8-inch pans instead of three 6-inch pans just like in Steamed Carrot Cake recipe. But you need to adjust the baking time to 30-35 minutes if you make it into two 8-inch pans. Make sure to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each one comes out clean.
3. Soften the butter and cream cheese for the frosting
Cream cheese makes the ultimate frosting for this Naked Carrot Cake. You need to use room temperature cream cheese and butter for the smooth and velvety frosting. Cold cream cheese could be lumpy so you need to set out the cream cheese a couple of hours before making this recipe. Before frosting, I like to chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes first to make sure the creamy frosting will hold its shape.
4. Double the frosting to fully cover the cake
When I made the recipe, I only had about 8 oz of cream cheese in my refrigerator. The amount of cream cheese frosting in this recipe is just enough to make naked looking carrot cake. If you aim for the full-covered cake with cream cheese, just double the frosting.
Frosting and Decorating
I am apparently a beginner at frosting a cake so there is a lot to improve here. For the frosting, I just crumb coated or simply put a thin layer of cream cheese frosting applied to seal the cake layers. Then, I piped the frosting on the cake border with a round piping tip and covered the top center of the cake with chopped toasted walnuts. To add a contrast color, I finished with fresh sprigs of rosemary from my garden. Somehow it makes a nice earthy feel to the cake. In fact, my brother told me this cake looks like a planter and I could totally relate to that.
More Cake Recipes
Are you looking for the perfect cake for any occasion? I have tons of recipes that you will love here.
- Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
- Steamed Chocolate Cream Cheese Layered Cake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Cake
- No-Bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake