Naked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This naked carrot cake with cream cheese frosting has all the classic flavors we love in carrot cake with a chunky twist. Nuts and large shreds of carrot abound in this tender cake, and it’s all covered in classic cream cheese frosting.

Closeup shot of naked carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

This carrot cake has everything we love in the classic dish and then some. In every bite, you’ll be treated to large shreds of carrot and delicious nuts. It all melds perfectly with the cream cheese frosting it’s topped with.

Cream Cheese Frosted Naked Carrot Cake

Carrot cake has been one of my favorite desserts for years. I’ve made it so often, I actually started to get tired of it, believe it or not. That’s when I switched to this delicious version with visible pieces of carrots and so many nuts, and I fell in love with it all over again.

Closeup shot of fork in slice of naked carrot cake

Ingredients

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make both the cake and the frosting for it.

Cake Ingredients:

  • sugar
  • eggs
  • milk
  • carrots
  • walnuts
  • water
  • baking soda
  • vanilla
  • flour

Frosting Ingredients:

  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
Overhead shot of carrot cake ingredients in individual bowls

Instructions

Although this recipe takes a few steps to make, they’re all very simple when you break them down.

Cake Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 2: Prepare three 8.5” round baking pans by greasing them with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and milk.

Step 4: Add carrots and nuts. Mix together.

Closeup overhead shot of carrot cake ingredients in bowl

Step 5: Bring water to a boil and stir in baking soda.

Step 6: Pour baking soda mixture into the batter and beat together.

Step 7: Add flour and vanilla. Beat again.

Step 8: Split batter between the three prepared baking pans.

Overhead shot of three can pans filled with carrot cake batter

Step 9: Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Overhead shot of baked naked carrot cake

Step 10: Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes before gently flipping them out of the pan onto parchment paper.

Step 11: Allow the cake layers to cool completely before assembling the cake. 

Frosting Directions:

Step 1: Place cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.

Step 2: Add vanilla and beat again. 

Closeup overhead shot of cream cheese frosting

Assembly Directions:

Step 1: Place one layer of cake on a large plate. Frost with 1/3 of frosting.

Step 2: Place another cake layer on top following by another 1/3 of frosting.

Step 3: Place the final layer of cake on top with the remaining frosting.

Closeup shot of three layers of naked carrot cake with cream cheese frosting between each layer

Step 4: Gently run your frosting knife around the cake to smooth out any access frosting.

OPTIONAL: Topped with chopped walnuts. 

Closeup shot of fully frosted nake carrot cake on cake stand

Equipment

You only need some basic kitchen equipment to make this delicious cake.

  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spoons
  • Hand mixer (optional)
  • Cake tins
  • Spatula
  • Grater

Substitutions

Cake Flour: For an even lighter texture, use cake flour instead of all purpose flour.

Almonds: Almonds are a great nut to use in this recipe, as well if you don’t like or don’t have walnuts.

Closeup shot of slice of frosted naked carrot cake

Options

Looking for ways to change up this cream cheese frosted naked carrot cake? Here are some suggestions.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Cinnamon and nutmeg add an earthiness to the recipe that works well with the carrots.

Maple Extract: A touch of maple extract gives this cake an almost imperceptible something that really works.

Tips:

  • Mix your batter until it’s just combined. Don’t overmix it.
  • Buying chopped walnuts in a bag will save you a ton of time.
  • Always fully soften your cream chees to achieve the best consistency when making your frosting.
Closeup shot of slice of carrot cake on spatula

More Cake Recipes

FAQ

How long is this carrot cake good?

You can store it covered in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Why won’t my frosting stick to the cake?

You have to let your cake cool completely before frosting. If the cake is even a little warm, the frosting will simply slide off of the cake.

Why is this carrot cake so chunky?

That’s what makes it great! It gives it a wonderful, rustic feel.

Closeup shot of slice of naked carrot cake on plate

Naked Carrot Cake

Ready to cook this naked carrot cake? Then print the recipe card below.

Yield: 8 servings

Naked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Naked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This naked carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is an absolute delight. Every bite is filled with the delicious flavors of carrots and nuts.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 11⁄2 cups milk
  • 3 c grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cake Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  3. Prepare three 8.5” round baking pans by greasing them with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and milk.
  5. Add carrots and nuts. Mix together.
  6. Bring water to a boil and stir in baking soda.
  7. Pour baking soda mixture into the batter and beat together.
  8. Add flour and vanilla. Beat again.
  9. Split batter between the three prepared baking pans.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes before gently flipping them out of the pan onto parchment paper. Allow it to cool completely before assembling the cake. 
  12. Frosting Directions:
  13. Place cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
  14. Add vanilla and beat again. 
  15. Assembly Directions:
  16. Place one layer of cake on a large plate. Frost with 1/3 of frosting.
  17. Place another cake layer on top following by another 1/3 of frosting.
  18. Place the final layer of cake on top with the remaining frosting.
  19. Gently run your frosting knife around the cake to smooth out any access frosting.
  20. OPTIONAL: Topped with chopped walnuts. 

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 823Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 132mgSodium 524mgCarbohydrates 140gFiber 3gSugar 109gProtein 13g

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