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If making carrot cake from scratch intimidates try this carrot sheet cake recipe. It’s a moist carrot cake that is easily whipped up in one bowl. And it’s baked in a 9×13 pan so no fussing around with layers and crumb coating. Super simple and all from scratch!
Ah, carrot cake. A cake made with vegetables. So healthy, right? Covered in cream cheese frosting. Ok, not healthy at all. Carrot cake is the only cake that can steer me away from chocolate desserts at a buffet table. Ok, I mean I’ll have the chocolate dessert in the end, but I’m starting with a big piece of carrot cake covered in cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cakes might sound intimidating, but this one is so simple. No, really, I promise. I even made it one bowl and it it’s baked in a 9×13 pan. So no stacking layers, or anything fancy cake stuff. When holidays and get togethers are hectic, it’s good to know you have a knock out dessert that won’t take long to throw together.
Layered cakes are impressive don’t get me wrong. But, when did we steer away from the simplicity of the sheet cake?
One bowl thrown into one pan.
No fussy decorations and leveling of the cake layers, just a simple layer of frosting on top. I grew up on sheet cakes.
Ok boxed yes, but still the simple sheet cake is what I remember with every family get together. From birthdays to barbeques. They just scream, “let’s get the family together and throw a barbeque!”
It’s the girl next door of cakes. Not pretentious. Not trying to be fancy, just promising to be delicious. Simple. Delicious. End of story.
I adapted this recipe from Ree Drummond’s carrot cake. Some carrot cakes are merely a spice cake in disguise. This one is not. It is perfect. I umped the cinnamon from 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons. And I threw in some chopped walnuts, because I believe every carrot cake should have the crunch from a walnut in it.
I also decided to just make it one bowl, and found it worked perfectly like this.
No need for two bowls at all. If you use your food processor for the carrots, this carrot cake is made in a cinch. Of course, if you are in need of a workout for the day, by all means, bust out the box grater. I’m on vacation, so food processor it is.
A Few Tips For Making This Carrot Sheet Cake:
- Measure Your Flour Correctly Using The Spoon And Level Method- you can read this post on why and how to measure your flour accurately. Incorrect measuring of your flour can result in a tough dry cake.
- Shred Your Carrots By Hand- Yes, this is a bit more difficult. And might take a few more minutes than using your food processor. Using your food processor will result in mushy small pieces of carrots.
- Be Sure Your Eggs Are At Room Temperature. You can bring your eggs to room temperature quickly by placing in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
And as I said, no sheet cake is complete without a generous layer of frosting on top. I made a simple cream cheese frosting. I have spent many hours frosting mile high layer cakes. Smoothing down the sides and cursing in my kitchen when it’s just not quite smooth. This cake took me all of about 20 seconds to frost. Before I knew it my family was digging in.
The Science Behind The Sweets: Why Do You Need To Use Room Temperature Eggs In Baked Goods?
Although most recipe call for softened butter, they don’t specify that your eggs also need to be at room temperature as well. But bringing your eggs to room temperature is a crucial step in your baking process. Using cold eggs can drastically change your cake recipe. First room temperature eggs will incorporate into the batter more easily. But besides that, using room temperature eggs will result in a cake with a more finer, tender crumb. Also, using cold eggs will take longer to bake. In most cakes, you might be able to get away with it. But more finicky cakes (pound, chiffon, angel food) rely on the eggs being room temperature so air can be incorporated into your batter. In these cakes, the air that introduced helps to leaven the cakes. And cold eggs won’t whip up with as much volume as room temperature eggs, so your cakes won’t rise as high.
To Make This Carrot Sheet Cake You Will Need:
- Cheese Grater – I prefer to grate my carrots by hand. I think the texture is much better if done by hand then if done by a food processor.
- Mixing Bowl
- Dry Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Stand Mixer
So get out a bowl. And then get the family together. Of course, if they are anything like mine, their noses will lead them right to the table without you having to ask. Enjoy 🙂
One Bowl Carrot Sheet Cake
FOR THE CAKE
- ◾2 cups Sugar
- ◾1 cup Vegetable Oil
- ◾4 whole Eggs
- ◾2 cups All-purpose Flour
- ◾1/2 teaspoon Salt
- ◾1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ◾1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ◾2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- ◾2 cups Grated Carrots
- ◾ 1 cup walnuts chopped
- ◾ For Icing
- ◾1 stick Regular Butter Softened
- ◾8 ounces Cream Cheese
- ◾2 cups powdered sugar
- ◾2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 1.Preheat oven to 350F
- 2. Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In the same bowl add your flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Then add carrots and walnuts and mix to combine. Do not overmix.
- 3. Pour into a greased and floured pan (bundt, sheet cake, 9 x 13 pyrex) and bake at 350F until done, 25 (sheet cake) to 50 (Bundt pan) minutes, depending on the pan you use.
- Cool completely.
- In larger bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla and blend, then mix in the nuts. Spread on cooled carrot cake.
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