The ultimate carrot cake

Ok, so carrot cake may not be from Norway, but it sure is an extremely popular cake in that part of the world.  Besides, dishes seem to transcend to different countries, with slight variations of ingredients, methods and flavor profiles. The cake is said to have originated in Sweden, but it is not known for sure.  Carrot puddings were enjoyed by people in Europe all the way back to medieval times, as carrots were used as sugar substitutes in sweet dishes.  Regardless of its origins – sometimes you just need that easy, fool proof recipe that everyone is going to be ooh’ing and aah’ing over – and this one is definitely it!!

There are probably as many recipes as there are opinions about carrot cakes out there; some insist to include raisins and nuts, some think that is sacrilege, some like to add different spices, others like the carrot cake to be plain, while some think there should be no sugar in the cake, because the carrots are sweet enough and the list goes on.

My recipe is one I received from my sister, the best baker I know of Norwegian cakes and other goodies. I’ve altered it slightly, just adding some spices to it and also added in a little sour cream in the frosting.   Incredibly juicy, aromatic and flavorful, it is light and airy and makes it simply impossible to have just one piece.  This is my chef husband’s favorite cake, he claims I make the best one he’s ever tasted.  I happily take the compliment, since he is not typically a fan of sweets and it’s hard to get him to be excited about cakes.   His birthday was this past Thursday and of course I had to whip up my famous carrot cake! I also brought it to a get together this afternoon where it disappeared within an hour –  it was such a huge hit I’ve been asked to make it at an upcoming birthday party for a group of people.

I think the frosting is just as good as the cake here – tangy and sweet flavors intermixed, just delicious!

Got you curious about how wonderful this cake is? There’s only one way to find out – test it out and let me know if you agree!!

KRYDRET GULROTKAKE  (Spiced Carrot Cake)

For cake:

4 eggs

1 1/2  cups (300 grams) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar

2 cups (350 grams) all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 lb (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled (preferably carrots from the farmer market)

1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)

1 1/2 cups (350 ml) canola or vegetable oil

For the frosting:

8 oz (225g) cream cheese

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool

300 grams (10 oz) confectioners sugar

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

Combine flour, salt, vanilla sugar if using, and spices in a bowl.  In a food processor,  shred the carrots (you should have about 4 cups).

Pour shredded carrots into a separate bowl. Wipe out the food processor and fit with the metal blade. Process eggs and sugars until light yellow and frothy, about 20 seconds.


With the machine running, pour in the oil slowly. Mix until combined and pour into a large bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients and the carrots, combine until no streaks of flours remain.


Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting.  Process the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in clean food processor until combined. Scrape down as needed, before adding the confectioners sugar. Process until smooth, a few seconds.


Run a pairing knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Peel off parchment paper, and move cake onto a serving tray.  Using an offset spatula, spread the cake with the frosting. Cut into serving pieces and serve!


3 thoughts on “The ultimate carrot cake

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