This soft and moist mini carrot cake is so delicious with a perfect mix of spices and a smooth cream cheese filling.
You’ll be in love with this small carrot cake if you love my carrot cake loaf. I use my cake loaf recipe as a base with a few changes.
If you were wondering how my cake loaf will be with brown sugar and with additional spices, you can see it in today’s recipe.
I tried it with extra spices and brown sugar in my banana carrot muffins but this 2-layer 6-inch (15 cm) mini carrot cake recipe has an extra spice and they are totally different as there is banana in the muffins.
I strongly suggest you make my delicious cream cheese frosting. My method is different than most recipes you probably make which guarantees a soft and creamy filling instead of a runny filling.
Actually, the amounts I used in the frosting is the same as the ones I use in my no knead cinnamon rolls recipe (I use just a little less vanilla) but the method I use makes it thicker.
Ingredients you’ll need
You can find the exact quantities at the bottom of my post, in the recipe card.
- Carrots-Not only do they make this cake delicious but also very moist. You’ll need 2 large or 4 medium carrots.
- Flour-I use all-purpose flour for structure.
- Spices– I use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves.
- Salt-It helps to bring the flavor out but if you omit salt, you can.
- Baking soda-It reacts with brown sugar and works as a leavener- makes the cake rise.
- Sugar-I use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Eggs-They give structure as well.
- Olive oil-It makes this cake moist.
- Vanilla extract-I use it both in the cake and in the frosting.
- Walnuts-They complement carrots so well but you can leave them out if you like.
- Cream Cheese-I use it to make cream cheese frosting.
- Butter-I use just a little in the frosting.
- Powdered sugar-I use it in the frosting.
Step by step instructions
First I place the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and mix. I set aside the bowl.
Then I peel, grate the carrots and set aside them.
Next I put the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl and mix with a whisk until just combined.
I add the olive oil and vanilla extract and stir with a whisk until just combined.
Then I mix the flour mixture in 2 batches. I find it easier to use a spoon in the second batch instead of a whisk.
Finally I add the carrots and stir with a spoon and add in the walnuts.
I divide the batter among two 6 inch (15cm) pans that is lined with parchment paper and bake for 24 to 26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean that is inserted in the center and the top is golden brown.
As baking time may change from oven to oven, you can check the cakes at 20 minutes.
Once baked, I keep the cakes in their pan for 20 minutes and then release them from the sides with a spatula and place the reverse sides on a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream cheese frosting
While it is baking, I make the cream cheese filling. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, my method is different which ensures a smooth filling without being runny.
First I place the room-temperature butter into a bowl of stand mixer (you can use a handheld mixer too) and beat at medium speed with a whisk attachment until creamy for 1 minute.
Next, I add the powdered sugar at low speed and beat at that speed for 40 seconds so the sugar won’t go all over the place. Then I beat at medium-high speed for almost a minute until combined well and mix in the vanilla extract.
Finally, I add the room-temperature cream cheese and stir at medium-high speed for almost 20 seconds. I keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
First I level the cakes using a serrated knife to make flat layers.
Then I place small parchment paper pieces on the edge of my cake stand so that while I’m frosting the cake, the stand stays clean. A little part of the paper pieces stays underneath the cake. When I finish frosting, I gently remove them from the cake stand.
I place the first layer into the middle of the cake stand and add frosting on top and spread it evenly with an icing spatula. Next, I place the reverse side of the cake on top and spread the frosting on top and to the sides.
I add walnut crumbles on top and remove the papers from the sides and place the cake into the fridge to let the cake set for at least 30-40 minutes so I can cut neat slices.
I hope you enjoy this small carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting as much as I do!
You can keep the frosted cake in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Other cake recipes you may enjoy!
- Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Orange Cake
- Orange Cake Loaf
- Apple Cake Loaf
- Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf Cake
I love hearing from you! If you try this recipe or my other recipes please leave a comment and give a star rating!
Mini Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake Batter
- 190 grams (1 cup and 5 tablespoons) all-purpose flour dip and sweep
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg*
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 110 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 110 grams (½ cup) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 230 grams (2 cups) grated carrots
- 60 grams (½ cup) walnuts, chopped into small pieces
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 82 grams (⅓ cups and 1 and ½ teaspoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (1 and ¼ cup) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 226 grams (8 oz) cream cheese, block style cream cheese, room temperature
Carrot Cake Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C). Grease the bottom and sides of two 6-inch (15cm) round cake pans and line the bottom with same-size parchment paper rounds and set aside the pans.
- Place the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda (and salt if using) into a medium bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside.
- Peel and grate the carrots, set aside.
- Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and mix with a whisk until just combined for almost 30-45 seconds.
- Add in the olive oil and vanilla extract and stir with a whisk until just combined.
- Add the flour mixture in 2 batches and stir until just combined. You can use a whisk in the first batch then you can use a spoon/spatula to mix it easily.
- Add the grated carrots and stir with a spoon/spatula. Mix in the walnuts.
- Divide the batter into 2 pans and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick that is inserted into the center comes out completely clean. Once you remove the pans from the oven, leave the cakes in their pan for 20 minutes. Then release the cakes from the sides with a spatula so you can remove them easily. Place the reverse side of the cakes on a cooling rack to let them cool for almost 1 hour.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- While cakes are baking you can prepare the frosting. Place the butter into a bowl of a stand mixer (if you like, you can use a handheld mixer) and beat at medium speed with a whisk attachment until creamy for 1 minute.
- Add the powdered sugar at low speed and beat at that speed for 40 seconds so the sugar won’t go all over the place. Continue to beat at medium high speed for almost a minute until combined well. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the cream cheese and stir at medium-high speed for almost 20 seconds. Keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Level the cakes using a serrated knife to make flat layers
- Place small parchment paper pieces to the edge of the cake stand so that while frosting the cake, the stand stays clean. A little part of the paper pieces should stay underneath the cake and when you finish frosting, you can gently remove them from the cake stand.
- Place the first layer into the middle of the cake stand and add frosting on top and spread it evenly with an icing spatula. Then place the reverse side of the other cake on top and spread the frosting on top and to the sides.
- You can decorate the top as you like. I add walnut crumbles to the top sides Remove the papers from the sides and place the cake into the fridge to let the cake set to cut neat slices.