This cake is a four-layered rectangular cake that gets coated in chopped nuts. Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk | Graphics: The Kitchn. I don’t think I’ll ever be making cream cheese frosting without browning my butter again. It was moist, flavorful, and carrot-forward — and I can confidently say it’s the only one I’ll ever make. The frosting was also delicious and tasted like a classic, straightforward cream cheese frosting. From there, I searched the internet to find the most popular recipes, looking for carrot cakes with loyal followings and positive reviews. This cake is exactly what I imagine when I think of a classic carrot cake: moist, lightly spiced, and all held together with a tangy cream cheese frosting. A moist and flavorful recipe that makes a large quantity of cake. At the end of the day we all picked the same cake as the winner. She is the author of True Brews and Brew Better Beer. Each carrot cake recipe was baked on the same day and compared in a side-by-side taste test. To make the icing add the cream cheese, lemon juice, icing sugar and vanilla essence to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Beat in 1/3 of the egg mixture. It was a revelation! My aunt uses a cooked frosting of cream, sugar, and cream cheese; I keep it simple with a very basic cream cheese frosting. Grease a 20cm round cake pan with spray oil and line with baking paper. I baked them all in the same oven, used carrots from the same bag, and tasted them all at the same time. It’s made with brown butter, lending it a nutty and complex flavor — a perfect complement to the cake itself. At the end of the day, I found a carrot cake recipe that was worlds better than any other carrot cake I had ever had. With the mixer on low (or by hand), beat 1/3 of the flour into the sugar mixture. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Bake for 25 minutes. Continue adding the flour and eggs in alternating additions. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Got a tip, kitchen tour, or other story our readers should see? Storage: The unfrosted cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and kept at room temperature for several days or frozen for up to 3 months. I was eager to find out which combination would yield my perfect slice, so I chose four of the most popular carrot cake recipes and baked them off in a side-by-side taste test. Until recently, I hadn’t found a recipe that checked all those boxes. Because the cake is baked in a sheet pan, it cooks quickly, and cutting it into four equal pieces is surprisingly easy. What People Want from a Healer in the Midst of a Pandemic, A Middle School Math Teacher Planning Lessons and Lunch, The Columbus, OH-based Forager Who's Become a TikTok Star, A Food Justice Advocate and Mother Talks Breastfeeding and Herb Gardens, Bryant Terry's Sautéed Cabbage and Roasted Potatoes, Vivian Howard's Baked Pimento Cheese and Sausage, Carrot Cake with Ginger Mascarpone Frosting, I Tried Ina Garten’s “Foolproof” Carrot Cake and Did Not Expect These Results, The Universally Perfect Carrot Cake Everyone You Know Will Love, I Tried Cook’s Illustrated Rule-Breaking Carrot Cake (and Honestly, I Can’t Stop Eating It), The Game-Changing Technique That Makes This Carrot Cake So Good. To me, lightly spiced layers of cake studded with freshly shredded carrots and slathered in cream cheese frosting is the stuff of dreams. Place the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Rotate the baking dish 180 degrees, then bake until the cake is slightly puffed in the middle and browned on the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean, 20 to 25 minutes more. After all, carrot cake recipes vary greatly, each producing cakes with different tastes and textures. Sure, the cinnamon was pleasant, and the crystalized ginger added a nice unexpected pop of heat. The cakes held together nicely and the frosting with smooth and easy to work with. I followed each recipe exactly as written and tried my best to keep all outside factors to a minimum. It gets a generous amount of dried currants added to the batter, lending it a nice tart flavor and chewy texture. It needs enough carrots to give it a subtle earthy flavor, but not enough to make it taste vegetal. Far from being a secret, my aunt happily shared the recipe with me when I finally asked for it a while back. 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