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BEST EVER CARROT CAKE WITH SALTED COFFEE CARAMEL

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

This is truly the BEST EVER carrot cake recipe. It’s incredibly moist, perfectly spiced, and has layers of homemade salted coffee caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting. It’s the only carrot cake recipe you’ll ever need...and trust me- I've tried them ALL. Plus, the coffee and caramel sauce give this classic cake an elevated flavour profile that will WOW your guests!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 10-12 slices
Time: 1.50 hour(s), plus cooling time.
Cuisine: American

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
  • 2 1/2 cups (245g) finely grated organic carrots

  • 2 cups (255g) all-purpose flour, spooned into the cups then leveled

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp clove

  • 1 cup (220ml) vegetable or canola oil

  • 3/4 cup (170g) light brown sugar, packed

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup (190g) Greek yogurt or sour cream


FOR THE FROSTING
  • 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

  • 16 oz full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature (use Philadelphia cream cheese for the best results)

  • 5 cups (600g) powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


FOR THE SALTED COFFEE CARAMEL
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup milk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste


 

TO MAKE THE CAKE

  1. Wash and peal your carrots. Grate them using the medium-sized holes on a box grater. It should resemble very finely shredded cheese. Measure out 2 1/2 cups into a bowl and set aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to to 350F and grease 3 round 6″ cake pans or 2 or 3 round 8″ cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round sheet of parchment paper and, if you have them, wrap the pans with dampened cake sleeves.

  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugars.

  5. Once combined, mix in the eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.

  6. Fold in your dry ingredients and just before it comes together, fold in the carrots as well.

  7. Evenly distribute your batter between the cake pans.

  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 20 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool for another 20 minutes.

  10. Wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Chilling the layers makes it much easier to frost. You can also chill the cakes overnight and frost the next day.

MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer.

  2. Mix on medium to medium-high speed until completely smooth.

  3. Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after the 3rd cup.

  4. After the 5th cup, scrape down the bowl again and mix in the vanilla extract until smooth.

If the frosting is too thin, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to thicken. Otherwise, it’s ready to pipe or spread!


MAKE THE SALTED COFFEE CARAMEL SAUCE

  1. Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract, coffee and salt to taste.

  3. Let cool slightly before using.


TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE


  1. To assemble, level off the tops of each cooled cake using a cake level. Then, spread a thin and even layer of frosting between each cake, followed by a drizzle of your caramel sauce.

  2. Spread a very thin layer of frosting around the entire outside of the cake (also known as the crumb coat) and chill for 30 minutes.

  3. Apply a thick layer of frosting around the chilled cake and then spread it even.

  4. Decorate however you like and enjoy!





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