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The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Welcome Spring with the most perfect and decadent carrot cake with brown butter mascarpone and cream cheese frosting! This is such a moist cake with well balanced spices. It will be a family favorite too!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrot Cake, Moist Cake, spring dessert, Ultimate Carrot Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author The Tiny Fairy



  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots, about 4 large peeled carrots
  • 1 generous cup walnuts, toasted and finely diced, divided
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spoon scooped and leveled with a knife prefer White Lily brand
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt prefer Diamond brand
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 generous Tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • zest of half a small navel orange
  • ½ cup golden raisins


  • ½ cup unsalted butter prefer Plugra or Kerrygold
  • 1 8-ounce block full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 8-ounce mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)



  1. Grease and flour two 8-inch round baking tins, line with parchment paper and set aside. Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Peel and grate about four large carrots using the fine shredding side of a box grater. You need 3 full cups of shredded carrots. Set aside.

  3. In a small pan, toast the walnuts over medium heat. Remove from heat and when cool, chop into small pieces. Measure 1 cup and set aside. Continue to chop the remaining nuts until superfine. This will be the cake garnish, set aside.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2½ cups White Lily all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated white sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground all spice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk all the dry ingredients until evenly distributed and the brown sugar is broken up.

  5. Add 1 cup of canola oil and ½ cup melted unsalted butter and mix just to combined.

  6. Add 4 large eggs, one at a time and mix to combine. Add 1 generous Tablespoon of vanilla paste and orange zest and combine. Don't over mix.

  7. Gently fold in 3 cups of freshly grated carrots, 1 cup of toasted chopped walnuts and ½ cup of golden raisins.

  8. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to separate from the tin and invert onto a cooling wire rack and remove the parchment paper. Once cooled, you can decorate or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to frost the following day.

    Note: You can also wrap well and freeze the cakes up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then frost and decorate.


  1. In a small light bottom skillet over medium heat, melt and cook the butter until lightly browned and with a nutty fragrance, about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a heat safe container and refrigerate until solid.   Once cold, transfer to standalone mixer and beat butter until creamed.  Add  cream cheese, mascarpone cream cheese, vanilla paste and kosher salt and beat on low until well blended.  Remember to scrape down the sides. 

  2. Add confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time,  and blend on low to avoid a powdered sugar cloud.  Scrape the sides down after every cup of sugar.   When all the sugar has been combined, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes to fluff up and smooth out.  


  1. Once the cake rounds are cool, use a serrated knife to make the cake level but removing any dome or unevenness the cake may have.

  2. Place a dollop of frosting on the cake plate to secure the cake in place and position the first layer on the stand, cut side up. Add a few spoonfuls of frosting and with an offset spatula, spread from the center outward toward the edge.

  3. Position the second layer cut side down so you have a smooth edge to frost. Dollop a few spoonfuls onto the top and spread the frosting from the center out.

  4. Smooth the excess frosting onto the sides, adding additional frosting as needed. Garnish with the minced nuts.

Recipe Notes