Scratch Carrot Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting is beautifully dense. This is the kind of cake that makes you want to “mmm” with every bite. Jimmie’s birthday was last week and I wanted to make him a special cake. Normally I would make my homemade Miracle Whip Cake (haven’t shared yet) with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting to help celebrate a birthday, but this particular milestone was a big one. He turned 50 so I thought I should try my best to make his favorite. I’d never made a carrot cake from scratch, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. I had everything I needed except one ingredient…
Vanilla extract. However, not being one to let something so minor ruin a good plan, I substituted almond extract. And it took this decadent scratch carrot cake over the top. 😊
While I wouldn’t normally put two sticks of butter into a batch of cream cheese frosting, the inspiration for this dessert called for it. Unfortunately, that website no longer exists. It tastes great, but really no better than if it had one stick.
Scratch Carrot Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 pound carrots, peeled & shredded
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
Almond Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Chopped pecans to sprinkle on top for flavor, texture, and garnish. (Can be picked or scraped off by picky people who don’t like nuts.)
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
Beat together eggs, sugar, and brown sugar until well mixed. Add oil, melted butter, and almond extract. Continue beating for 1-2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture a little at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
Stir in the raisins, carrots, and pineapple. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into several places around the center comes out clean. Let cake cool before inverting onto a board or cake carrier. Or leave in pan.
For the frosting:
With a electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until well combined. Add the almond extract then mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add more powdered sugar, if necessary, to make an icing that won’t run off the cake.
* To save time and energy, use a food processor with a shredding blade for the carrots.
* To keep the raisins from sinking to the bottom, lightly dust with flour before adding to the batter.
* When icing the sides of a 9×13 cake, there’s no need to put on a super thick layer. Just add extra icing on top.
* To drain the pineapple and save the juice, place fine wire mesh strainer over a bowl and dump in the entire can. Use the back of a spoon to press the pineapple down, forcing the juice out.
* Place the cream cheese & butter in a mixing bowl and let come to room temp while baking the cake.
Using an offset spatula, ice the sides then top. Sprinkle with nuts over all, or leave space in the center to write a message. Moreover, you can leave off the nuts altogether.
Happy eating! 😊