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carrot cake with white chocolate frosting

Spiced carrot cake topped with white chocolate cream cheese frosting makes the best dessert for Easter and spring! If you’re a carrot cake fan, you’ll adore this cake: moist and tender, perfectly spiced, and frosted with the most sublime cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake White Chocolate Frosting

Carrot cake is a classic for a reason and tastes even better the next day, so this is a perfect make ahead recipe. The spice flavor develops overnight and the cream cheese frosting settles a bit into the layers, making the cake easy to slice and serve.

Carrot Cake White Chocolate Frosting

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • Flour – Regular all-purpose flour is perfect for this cake.
  • Spices – Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves add plenty of cozy spice flavor.
  • Neutral oil – A good neutral baking oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil) keeps the cake moist.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar sweetens the cake.
  • Eggs – Two large eggs plus one egg yolk add moisture and richness to the cake (don’t skip the extra yolk).
  • Buttermilk – Ensures a soft and tender crumb.
  • Vanilla extract – Flavors the cake and complements the spices.
  • Grated carrots – Use freshly grated carrots. Finely grate the carrots for even distribution throughout the cake.
  • Walnuts – Finely chopped walnuts (or pecans) are delicious in this cake. You can lightly toast the nuts for deeper flavor.

White Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

  • White chocolate – Use 6 ounces of high quality white chocolate for the frosting. I use and recommend Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars. Do not use white chocolate chips or melting wafers – the added stabilizers prevent them from melting smoothly and incorporating into the frosting.
  • Cream cheese – Use full fat block cream cheese (not cream cheese spread) at cool room temperature.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter at cool room temperature for the frosting.
  • Vanilla extract – Enhances the white chocolate flavor.
  • Lemon juice – A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice balances the flavor of the frosting and keeps the sweetness in check.
  • Powdered sugar – Sift the powdered sugar before using for perfectly smooth frosting.

Carrot Cake White Chocolate Frosting

How to Make the Best Carrot Cake

Cake Batter – You don’t need a mixer to make the cake batter, just two large bowls and a whisk. Whisk the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk together, then add to the dry ingredients and fold in until almost incorporated. Fold in grated carrots and chopped nuts.

Cake Pans – Bake this cake in two 8-inch round cake pans. To prepare the pans for baking, spray the pans with non-stick baking spray and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.

Bake – Bake cake layers for 26 to 30 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting – To make the frosting, start by melting the white chocolate. Place chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Gradually melt the white chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Mix in vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Add cooled white chocolate, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Gradually add powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl as needed. If frosting is soft, chill for 30 to 40 minutes before assembling the cake.

Assemble and Crumb Coat Cake – To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand and use an offset spatula to swirl white chocolate cream cheese frosting over the cake. Add the second cake layer and chill the cake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, apply a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top and around the sides of the cake to create a crumb coat (the crumb coat seals in moisture and prevents crumbs from transferring to the frosting). You may find it helpful to add a toothpick or a dowel to the center to support the cake layers for more stability while frosting. Chill uncovered for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Use an offset spatula to apply remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake. If desired, pipe remaining frosting decoratively on the top cake layer and decorate with sprinkles. Chill the frosted cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Make Ahead – The cake can be made and assembled a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Before serving, let the cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Carrot Cake White Chocolate Frosting

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Carrot Cake White Chocolate Frosting

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

  • Author: Laura | Tutti Dolci
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 26 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch cake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Spiced carrot cake topped with white chocolate cream cheese frosting makes the best dessert for Easter and spring!


Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (or pecans)

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 16 oz full fat cream cheese, cool room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cool room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5 to 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl; make a well in the center. Combine vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, then add to flour mixture and fold in until almost incorporated. Fold in grated carrots and walnuts.
  3. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  4. Bake cakes for 26 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Cool cakes completely in pans on a wire rack.
  5. Melt chocolate: Place chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Gradually melt the white chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Make frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Scrape down bowl and add cooled white chocolate, mixing in on low speed until incorporated. Gradually add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed (frosting should be spreadable, but not runny). If frosting is too soft to use immediately, chill for 30 to 40 minutes before assembling the cake.
  7. Assemble and crumb coat cake: Place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand and use an offset spatula to swirl frosting over the cake. Add the second cake layer and chill the stacked cake for 20 minutes.
  8. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top and around the sides of the cake to create a crumb coat (add a toothpick to the center to support cake layers if desired). Chill for 1 hour, uncovered (keep extra frosting chilled).
  9. Use offset spatula to apply remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting. If desired, pipe remaining frosting decoratively on the top cake layer and decorate with sprinkles.
  10. Chill the frosted cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
  11. Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

Cake pans: This recipe uses two 8-inch cake pans. You can also divide the batter evenly between two 9-inch cake pans and bake layers for 22 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the pan.

Make Ahead – The cake can be made and assembled a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Before serving, let the cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Keywords: Carrot Cake, White Chocolate, Cream Cheese Frosting

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2 Comments

  1. The best carrot cake I have ever made! The texture is perfect (soft, moist) and the white chocolate frosting is divine. A hit with the entire family!