My favorite cake is carrot cake. And yes, the rumors are true. I am sort of a carrot cake snob. The grocery store bakery type of carrot cake just does not do it for me.
The funny thing is that I’ve never ventured out to make carrot cake from scratch. I usually just splurge on it at a nice bakery. I’ve made it from the box, but unless you’re using fresh fruit ingredients, it just does not compare.
Truth be told, I have found some amazing recipes on allrecipes.com. I love how the recipes are always rated, and you can read the comments of those who have tested each recipe. During my search for the best carrot cake recipe, I knew there would have to be someone’s family heirloom recipe just screaming for me to try it, and there was. Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake recipe with 1,215 ratings and 5 stars appeared right in front of my eyes. The icing on the cake was when I read a comment from someone who tried 5 different carrot cake recipes for a wedding cake, and this one was the winner. I was sold!
So I bought the ingredients and got busy in the kitchen. First of all, I couldn’t believe I had never made a carrot cake from scratch before. The process was literally a “piece of cake.” Pour, dump, stir, and fold.
With so many fresh ingredients with natural oils such as coconut, nuts, carrots, and pineapple, I could not believe how incredibly moist these cupcakes turned out. Does anyone else not like raisins in their carrot cake? I am not a raisin person, so I omitted them.
To top it all off, I developed a cream cheese frosting recipe with… yes, vanilla beans. I can never get enough of those. I love how the flavor of the frosting turned out. Just to give you a fair heads up though, the frosting is not pipeable to give you the tall gorgeous swirls of frosting on your cupcakes like the bakeries carry. This frosting recipe is rather on the runny side, but not too runny. It still holds its shape and tastes fantastic. I would definitely use this frosting recipe again.
I picked some fresh lemons and used a grater. Fresh lemon zest was such a complement to the cream cheese frosting. I love how well the lemon zest brought each of the flavors together. I highly recommend that you add that in.
So if you’re looking for an incredible carrot cake recipe, this is it! You’re sure to get some high fives & hand shakes for bringing this to your next party!
Best Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe
Recipe by Sam of Allrecipes
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8×12 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.
In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
Pour into prepared 8×12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with toothpick.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
* Recipe by Melissa Johnson
16 ounces of cream cheese
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, cream your butter until it is fluffy. This should take you approximately 1 1/2 minutes.
Next add in the cream cheese. Mix the cream cheese and butter together until it reaches a creamy texture.
Mix your vanilla extract & scraped vanilla bean with the cream cheese and butter until incorporated.
Gradually mix in your powdered sugar, pouring 1 cup in at a time.
After all powdered sugar is incorporated, mix for 3 minutes on medium speed.
Don’t forget to garnish each swirl of frosting with a pinch of fresh grated lemon.