Easy and moist carrot cake, made sheet cake style and cut into squares. These carrot cake squares are perfect individual sizes with added walnuts and adorned with decoratively piped cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake, a favorite of so many and what once was a labor of love before the invention of the shredding blade for food processors. Housewives everywhere who loved to make carrot cake found themselves getting a good arm workout hand grating carrots and thankfully, we don’t have to hand grate anymore.
I love making carrot cake in individual serving squares. They’re easy to store and they’re already portioned out for when you get a snack attack, or grab one on-the-go for breakfast (I may have done this).
This recipe is customized by request for my husband. He always asks me to add walnuts because thats how his mother made it and his wish is my culinary command. You can omit them if you are not a fan.
- For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
- 4 cups grated carrots about 2 pounds
- 1 cup toasted optional, unsalted walnut pieces
- For the frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 ounces unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
To a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
To a separate bowl whisk the oil and sugars together until smooth, then whisk in the eggs one at at time, then whisk in the vanilla.
With the whisk on low, add the flour mix in small batches mix well in between additions.
Stir in the carrots and walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or when a toothpick is inserted in the center it comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges with a pairing knife and turn out onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
While the cake is cooling, add the cream cheese and butter to a stand mixer or bowl (with hand mixer) and beat on slow while adding powdered sugar a little at at time until smooth and creamy, then beat in the vanilla.
Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake and slice into 12, 3 inch squares.