So is it me or is carrot cake underrated? Maybe it’s me, but I never think of carrot cake, even though I love it. I’m never sitting here thinking “oh I could really go for a piece of carrot cake right now..” maybe it’s just me. And I really do love it, it’s moist, flavorful and let’s not forget how amazing cream cheese frosting is!! I think the problem is I just dream about chocolate all day…
Anyways I was really excited to make a carrot cake recipe for the blog because 1) I didn’t have one (up until today!) and 2) carrot cake kind of intimidates me. Can a vegetable in a cake really be that good? Obviously it is but for some reason I didn’t think I could pull it off. Luckily I decided to use ole reliable (aka cake mix) to pull this off and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. This recipe yields an unbelievable flavor and texture that will give any other carrot cake you’ve tried a run for it’s money. It’s tender, moist cake crumb pairs perfectly with the sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting.
If you don’t want to go the cupcake route, you can easily use this recipe to make a 2 layer cake, which would be just as impressive and delicious. In typically fashion, I like a lot of frosting so there should be enough in this recipe if you decide to make a cake instead ?
- 1 15.25 ounce spice cake mix
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely grated carrots about 6 or 7 regular sized carrots
- 1 8 ounce can pineapple chunks (drained)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
For the Frosting:
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 - 8 oz. block cream cheese
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven according to the package instructions of the cake mix, typically it will 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners, set aside.
- Before you make the batter, rinse and dry your carrots. Use a fine grater to grate the carrots. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, sour cream, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Use a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to mix the ingredients together on medium speed to mix everything together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Once the batter is mixed fold in the grated carrots and pineapple chunks. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them up about half way. Do not over fill.
- Bake in the oven for 16 to 18 minutes. Cupcakes are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Combine butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream the two ingredients together for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in 1 to 2 cups of powdered sugar and the milk, starting out with a 1/2 tablespoon. Continue to mix the ingredients together on low speed, slowly working back up to medium speed for another minute. Add in the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and the rest of the milk if desired. Mix everything together on medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes or until thick and fluffy.