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Carrot Cake with Pecans – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on February 11, 2024

Have you ever craved a cake that perfectly balances the sweetness of carrots with the nuttiness of pecans? Look no further than the scrumptious Pecan Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake with Pecans

This delectable dessert is a blend of rich ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Want to explore more carrot cakes? Check this: Costco carrot cake, Trader Joes carrot cake cookies, and Edward Delling Williams carrot cake,

However, in this blog post, I will take you on a flavorful journey through the world of Pecan Carrot Cake, sharing why you’ll absolutely love it, the ingredients you need to make it, step-by-step directions, storage tips, nutrition information, serving suggestions, possible substitutes, and answer some frequently asked questions.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the deliciousness of Pecan Carrot Cake!

What is Pecan Carrot Cake?

Pecan Carrot Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the natural sweetness and moistness of grated carrots with the crunch of pecans. This cake is infused with warm spices like cinnamon, which further enhances its flavor profile.

The cream cheese frosting on top adds a creamy and tangy touch that perfectly complements the cake’s sweetness. The combination of textures and flavors in Pecan Carrot Cake creates a truly unforgettable harmony.

Why You’ll Love This Pecan Carrot Cake?

There are several reasons why Pecan Carrot Cake will steal your heart. Firstly, it is incredibly moist, ensuring every bite is soft and tender. The grated carrots provide natural sweetness and maintain the cake’s moistness.

Secondly, the pecans bring a delightful crunch to the cake, enhancing the texture and adding a nutty undertone. Lastly, the creamy frosting completes the cake, elevating its taste to new heights.

The tartness of the cream cheese beautifully balances the sweetness of the cake, making it an irresistible treat.

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The Ingredients You Will Need To Make Pecan Carrot Cake

To embark on this delightful baking adventure, gather the following ingredients:

All-Purpose Flour: I use all-purpose flour as the base of the cake. It provides structure and contributes to the overall texture, ensuring the cake has a proper crumb.

Baking Soda: Baking soda acts as a leavening agent, helping the cake rise and giving it a light and airy texture.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavors in the cake, balancing the sweetness and adding depth to the taste.

Canola or Other Vegetable Oil: I use canola or vegetable oil for moisture. It keeps the cake moist and tender, and its neutral flavor lets the other ingredients shine.

Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds warm and aromatic notes to the cake, complementing the sweet and earthy flavors of the carrots.

Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake and contributes to its tenderness.

Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile of the cake, adding a sweet and aromatic essence.

Lightly Packed Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a subtle molasses flavor, moistness, and depth of sweetness to the cake.

Carrots: Grated carrots are the star of the carrot cake, adding sweetness, moisture, and a natural earthy flavor.

Eggs: Eggs provide structure, moisture, and help bind the ingredients together, contributing to the cake’s texture.

Raisins: Raisins contribute natural sweetness and chewiness to the cake, enhancing its flavor and texture.

Coarsely Chopped Pecans: Pecans provide a delightful crunch and nutty flavor, complementing the texture of the cake. They also add a layer of richness.

Cream Cheese (for the Creamy Frosting): Cream cheese is the base for the frosting. It adds a rich and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cake.

Confectioners’ Sugar (for the Creamy Frosting): Confectioners’ sugar sweetens the frosting, providing the right consistency and a velvety sweetness.

Cornstarch (for the Creamy Frosting): Cornstarch helps stabilize the frosting, giving it a smooth and creamy texture.

Chopped Pecans (for Topping the Cake): Chopped pecans on top of the frosting add a final touch of crunch, flavor, and visual appeal to the carrot cake.

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s take a journey to make this delectable cake step by step.

How to Make Carrot Cake with Pecans

Directions

Step 1: Preparing the Cake Batter

To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well until the sugars have dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure they are at room temperature to ensure even mixing.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.

Fold in the grated carrots, chopped pecans, and raisins, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Step 2: Baking the Cake

Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3: Creating the Creamy Frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cornstarch (if using), and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy and smooth.

Gradually add the cream, continuing to beat until well incorporated and the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

Step 4: Assembling the Cake

Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a generous amount of the creamy frosting over the top.

Place the second cake layer on top and frost the entire cake, including the sides, with the remaining cream cheese frosting.

Finally, sprinkle the coarsely chopped pecans over the frosting to add a delightful crunch and decoration.

Notes

  1. To ensure a moist cake, do not overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added. Overmixing can lead to a dense texture.
  2. If you prefer a subtler nut flavor, you can reduce the amount of pecans or omit them altogether.
  3. Feel free to substitute raisins with other dried fruits such as cranberries or chopped dates for a twist on the classic recipe.
  4. To enhance the flavor of the pecans, you can lightly toast them before adding them to the cake batter. Simply spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes or until fragrant.
  5. Make sure the cream cheese for the frosting is softened and at room temperature to ensure easy mixing and a smooth texture.

Storage Tips

If by some miracle there are leftovers of this irresistible pecan carrot cake, you can store them properly to enjoy the deliciousness for longer.

Keep the cake covered with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Before serving, let the cake come to room temperature for the best texture and flavor.

Nutrition Information

While indulging in this delightful treat, it’s good to have an understanding of its nutritional value. Here’s an approximate breakdown of the nutrition information for the Pecan Carrot Cake (per serving):

– Calories: 470
– Total Fat: 28g
– Saturated Fat: 5g
– Cholesterol: 60mg
– Sodium: 290mg
– Total Carbohydrate: 51g
– Dietary Fiber: 2g
– Sugars: 35g
– Protein: 5g

Serving Suggestions

Now that you have created a masterpiece in the form of Pecan Carrot Cake, it’s time to enjoy it to the fullest. Here are some serving suggestions that will elevate your cake experience:

  1. Serve a slice of Pecan Carrot Cake with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.
  2. Accompany the cake with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast in flavors and temperatures.
  3. Drizzle a homemade caramel sauce over individual slices of the cake, adding a touch of decadence to each bite.
  4. Dust the cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and serve it with a cup of freshly brewed coffee for a cozy treat.
  5. For a tropical twist, serve the cake with a side of fresh pineapple slices or a scoop of coconut ice cream.

What other substitutes can I use for Pecan Carrot Cake?

While the classic recipe for Pecan Carrot Cake is undeniably delicious, there are several ingredient substitutions you can make to personalize the cake according to your preferences. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Instead of canola or vegetable oil, you can use melted coconut oil for a subtle coconut flavor.
  2. Replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or a gluten-free flour blend for a healthier or gluten-free alternative.
  3. If you’re not a fan of raisins, you can substitute them with dried cranberries, chopped dates, or even chopped dried apricots.
  4. Instead of pecans, you can use walnuts or almonds to add a different nutty component to the cake.
  5. To make the cake dairy-free, you can use vegan cream cheese in the frosting or even make a coconut cream-based frosting as a substitute.
Copycat Carrot Cake with Pecans

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Pecan Carrot Cake ahead of time?

Absolutely! Pecan Carrot Cake can be made a day in advance. Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in cling film or place it in an airtight container. Keep it refrigerated and frost the cake just before serving.

Can I freeze Pecan Carrot Cake?

Yes, you can freeze Pecan Carrot Cake for up to 3 months. Ensure the cake is fully cooled and frosted before freezing. Wrap it tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Can I add pineapple to the cake?

Certainly! If you enjoy the combination of carrots and pineapple, you can add 1 cup of well-drained crushed pineapple to the cake batter. This will give the cake a hint of tropical sweetness and added moisture.

Can I make cupcakes instead of a cake?

Absolutely! For cupcakes, line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each cavity approximately 2/3 full with the batter. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.

Can I use vegetable shortening instead of oil?

Yes, you can substitute the oil with an equal amount of vegetable shortening. Keep in mind that this may affect the texture and moisture of the cake slightly.

Can I add spices like nutmeg or ginger to the cake?

Certainly! Feel free to experiment with additional spices to add depth of flavor to your Pecan Carrot Cake. Nutmeg, ginger, or even a pinch of cloves can be wonderful additions. However, start with small amounts to avoid overpowering the carrot and pecan flavors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Pecan Carrot Cake is a true delight for the senses. With its moist texture, natural sweetness, and delightful nutty crunch, this cake is a testament to the wonders of baking.

Whether you make it for a special occasion or just to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cake will impress both your taste buds and your guests.

So, gather the ingredients, follow the step-by-step directions, and embark on a flavorful journey with the divine Pecan Carrot Cake. Your palate will thank you, and you’ll likely find yourself craving more of this irresistible treat in no time!

Copycat Carrot Cake with Pecans

Carrot Cake with Pecans

It’s no secret that carrot cake is one of the most beloved desserts around the world. But what if you could take this already delicious dessert to the next level
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Author: Lori Walker, MS, RD
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 470kcal

Equipment

  • round cake pans
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups 260g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups 295ml canola or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup 190g lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups 300g grated peeled carrots, 5 to 6 medium carrots
  • 1 cup 120g coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup 70g raisins

FOR CREAMY FROSTING

  • 8 ounces 225g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups 140g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup 80ml cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch optional
  • 1/2 cup 50g coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

Instructions

Step 1: Preparing The Cake Batter

  • To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well until the sugars have dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure they are at room temperature to ensure even mixing.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.
  • Fold in the grated carrots, chopped pecans, and raisins, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Step 2: Baking The Cake

  • Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3: Creating The Creamy Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cornstarch (if using), and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy and smooth.
  • Gradually add the cream, continuing to beat until well incorporated and the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

Step 4: Assembling The Cake

  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a generous amount of the creamy frosting over the top.
  • Place the second cake layer on top and frost the entire cake, including the sides, with the remaining cream cheese frosting.
  • Finally, sprinkle the coarsely chopped pecans over the frosting to add a delightful crunch and decoration.

Notes

  • To ensure a moist cake, do not overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added. Overmixing can lead to a dense texture.
  • If you prefer a subtler nut flavor, you can reduce the amount of pecans or omit them altogether.
  • Feel free to substitute raisins with other dried fruits such as cranberries or chopped dates for a twist on the classic recipe.
  • To enhance the flavor of the pecans, you can lightly toast them before adding them to the cake batter. Simply spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Make sure the cream cheese for the frosting is softened and at room temperature to ensure easy mixing and a smooth texture.
Keyword: Carrot Cake with Pecans

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My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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