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Steamed Carrot Cake

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Making a cake without an oven is not a problem for this Steamed Carrot Cake. The steaming process makes this carrot cake a wonderful softer and moister cake that you will love.

Steamed Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

The recipe is actually adapted from my Naked Carrot Cake recipe, but I steam the cake instead of baking it. 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. I also find a huge discovery that the steamed version is moister than the baked version with softer crumbs. That’s really a huge discovery for me. 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 a successful moist Steamed Carrot Cake.

1. Brown sugar for an 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 make 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 to making a 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 or 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 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 to the cake. You get a little bit of surprise for every bite you take. But if they are a big no for you, just omit them.

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 the 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 aluminum foil during steaming, just to prevent the water drips on the cake batter.

8. Cool the cake completely

Cream cheese frosting will quickly melt if it touches the 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 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.

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, you can add more confectioners sugar to the frosting.

Yay, happy birthday to me! Wishing myself a great another year ahead.

Steamed Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Steamed Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

More Steamed Cake Recipes

While you are here, don’t forget to check out also these delicious steamed cake recipes!

steamed carrot cake
4.5 from 16 votes

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.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 8-inch/20 cm cake
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


Carrot Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 gr) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 10.5 oz (300 gr) finely grated fresh carrot
  • 1 cup raisins or nuts, optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz (450 gr) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 gr) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup (125 gr) toasted walnuts, roughly chopped


Carrot Cake

  • Preheat the steamer by bringing the water in the steamer to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch the condensation.
  • Grease two 8-inch/20 cm round pans and line the bottom with 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 the vegetable oil into the batter little by little until everything is well incorporated.
  • With a spatula, fold dry ingredients into the batter until well incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Stir in grated carrot and raisins until well combined.
  • 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 a 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 toppings if desired.


Serving: 1whole cake | Calories: 10606kcal | Carbohydrates: 1109g | Protein: 111g | Fat: 664g | Saturated Fat: 258g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 202g | Monounsaturated Fat: 157g | Trans Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 1612mg | Sodium: 5217mg | Potassium: 4456mg | Fiber: 37g | Sugar: 703g | Vitamin A: 62608IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 1726mg | Iron: 30mg
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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I have tried both baked and steamed Carrot can from your blog and I love them. Definitely prefer the steamed version because it is a lot moister than the baked one.