Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

This cake boasts all of the traditional flavors of carrot cake, but you’ll notice something different: The carrots aren’t shredded. Puréeing the carrots instead of shredding them means you don’t ever have to worry about a dry cake.

To top it off, it’s kissed by a sweet orange and cream cheese glaze and bedazzled with orange zest curls and candied nuts.

Serves 8

Active time 25 minutes

Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes (plus cooling time)


For the Carrot Cake:

  • 1¾ cups peeled and sliced carrots (about 4 medium-large)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ½ Tbsp. whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For garnish (optional):

  • Orange zest curls
  • Candied pecans

Cooking instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Place the carrots in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until the carrots are very soft. Drain; purée the carrots with 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together the puréed carrots, sugar, vegetable oil, orange zest, vanilla, and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake at 325°F for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Cool in the pan 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
  6. While the cake cools, prepare the glaze. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the orange juice, whipping cream, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, spoon the glaze over the top. Garnish with orange zest curls and candied pecans, if desired.


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