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Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

December 23, 2020

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

This Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting is the best + perfect rendition of traditional carrot cake with a twist! Not only is it completely soft + fluffy, but it’s rich in flavor from the loaded carrot flavored cake layers to the velvety chai-infused cream cheese buttercream that when paired together, really brings this cake TO LIFE! Each cake layer includes raisins, shredded coconut, walnuts, pecans, warm spices, and hints of pineapple flavor from the pineapple juice. Absolutely irresistible and is sure to become the newest celebratory tradition for the entire family with each cake slice.

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

This Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting is the Best thing you’ll ever taste! 

Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with this cake. It’s just SO GOOD, ya’ll. I mean the layer of flavors in just one bite will leave you absolutely obsessed. 

Besides, we’re that much closer to Christmas and I know that things are heating up in terms of finding the right dessert choice for such a special occasion. Well, look no further.

Of course, you can always choose from one of our 25 Days to Christmas recipes as well! So many great options, flavor combos, and unique twists to choose from!

TAG #ORCHIDSANDSWEETTEA WHENEVER YOU MAKE ONE OF MY RECIPES!

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

If you’ve been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware of my fear of baking cakes. Granted, I do make them for special occasions, however, when it comes to making them for a blog (and professional and all), I am completely terrified that it won’t be perfect.

But this cake came out PERFECT. I can’t even stop raving about it. Haha.

Plus, how could you have a Fall/Winter anything without Chai? I mean, is that possible? I think not.

Speaking of chai, I recently made a few chai recipes BUT this Spiced Chai Cheesecake + Gingersnap Crust is the best rendition of chai tea latte in cheesecake form in addition to delicious ginger flavor. So much so that many of you have been incredibly OBSESSED with it!

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

SO, WHAT’S MY SECRET TO THIS SOFT, MOIST CAKE?

The butter (or oil) + use of cake flour. This combo of ingredients definitely creates a beautiful soft, fluffy, + moist bite of any cake, including this carrot cake.

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS CAKE?

It’s super fluffy and moist.

Loaded with decadent carrot, spice, + tropical flavors.

Delicious and comforting in every bite.

Melt in your mouth goodness!

Can be made as a traditional 2-layer cakesheet cake, or cupcakes. Your choice!

That Chai Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting is EVERYTHING.

Absolutely scrumptious.

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

COMMON Q + A’S ABOUT THIS CAKE.

HOW LONG WILL THIS CAKE LAST FOR?

When tightly wrapped + refrigerated, this cake can be stored for up to 5 days.

WHY ARE THE INGREDIENTS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

When it comes to ingredients, especially in baking, it’s always best to have cold ingredients at room temperature to ensure that the mixing process is more seamless and even. Please note that microwaving your butter last minute if you forget to leave it out at room temperature isn’t recommended. Microwaving often changes the consistency of the butter which doesn’t create a nice ‘creaminess’ when mixed.

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

CAN THIS CAKE BE MADE AHEAD OR FROZEN FOR LONGER?

Absolutely! You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The frosting/buttercream can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!

To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

CAN THIS CAKE BE MADE INTO A 2-LAYER OR CUPCAKES?

Absolutely! You can always divide the batter into two 8-inch cake pans for a nice double layer cake or into cupcake pans. The bake time will be a little less, therefore, keeping your eyes on them is super important. Also, with the cupcakes, you can use the frosting as a filling inside the cupcakes and top with the remaining chai cream cheese frosting to get double the ‘indulging experience’. Once cupcakes are baked, simply create a hole in the centers, fill them with the frosting and frost them per usual. 

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

4 TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE.

TIP #1: Another thing that I’ve learned about baking a cake is having the right tools. As a basic—-you should have a cake stand (preferably one that has a turnstile table), spatulas (big + small), piping bags + tips, correct baking pans and parchment paper, and if you need to get a bit more fancy—Bake Even Cake Strips (Wilton has some awesome quality ones!), which are such a genius invention.

Have no clue what these are? Whelp, you basically soak them in water before wrapping them around your cake pan while baking. These stripes ensures that your cakes don’t bake with a funny “dome” or anything. Just flat and even.

Of course, if you don’t have these strips, you can simply butter your pan and use liners along with an old trick that I’ve always done when baking—–add a small pot of water to the oven to keep things moist. Yup. It works EVERY. TIME.

TIP #2: One of the essential ingredient combos for a light, silky cake texture is baking soda and acid ingredient (usually vinegar or buttermilk if the cake calls for it). When acid and baking soda reacts, it creates bubbles and helps to create a nice rise for your baked goods, leaving an airy texture.

In the case of vegan cakes, this is usually done by adding apple cider vinegar to your milk and letting it sit for a few minutes and then later combining it with the dry ingredients (which includes baking soda). Wallah!

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

TIP #3: One of my latest tricks to a perfect cake has been to ensure that ALL of my dry ingredients are sifted. Trust me, ya’ll—-this works!

Making all the dry ingredients fully sifted makes things airy, as you’ve guessed it and allows everything to combine faster.

TIP #4: Never Over-mix! When creating a cake, it’s so important to add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately and as soon as everything is combined very well, THAT’S IT!

Over-mixing creates a more dense cake.

NEED OTHER AMAZING CAKE IDEAS? MY TOP 3!

This Vegan Brownie Cookie Dough Cake is the BEST THING YOU’LL EVER TASTE! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it includes an airy chocolate brownie cake layered which sits in between a delicious cookie dough frosting filled with chocolate chips.

This Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake is the perfect rendition of traditional strawberry shortcake with a twist! Not only is it completely soft + fluffy, but it’s rich in flavor from vegan vanilla cake layers and comes loaded with a velvety cream cheese buttercream that when paired with this sweet strawberry filling, it’s absolutely irresistible and is sure to become the newest celebratory tradition for the entire family.

This Classic Red Velvet Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting is a healthier option to the decadent classic—Red Velvet Cake! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also filled with a velvety cream cheese buttercream that when paired with this fluffy cake (made with premium cocoa powder), they all work amazingly together. 

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 16 servings
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Ingredients

Carrot Cake:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar  (I use Wholesome Sweets)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (See Notes!)
  • 2 large organic eggs, room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated carrots (That's about 2 medium carrots!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (I use Diamond Nuts)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I use Diamond Nuts)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup dried raisins
  • 1/3 cup organic pineapple juice (See Notes!)

Chai Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. organic cream cheese, softened at room temp. (I use Organic Valley)
  • 6 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp Chai spice mix (See Notes!)
  • 2-3 Tbsps organic heavy cream or milk

Other:

  • Chopped Pecans/Walnuts, for garnish

Instructions

Carrot Cake:

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 8-inch round cake pans or TWO 9-inch cake pans. **JUST REMEMBER TO DOUBLE CHECK MY RECIPE NOTES FOR MEASUREMENTS OF INGREDIENTS DEPENDING ON YOUR CAKE SIZE.**
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, spices, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, pineapple juice, on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until mixture becomes light in color.
  • On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes. NOTE: Batter should thick and smooth. If too runny, add 1/4 cup more flour until desired consistency.
  • Fold in raisins, chopped nuts, and coconut flakes.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
  • Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until they are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.

Chai Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Simply combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer & beat together on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, chai spice mix, and milk, continuing to mix on medium speed until you reach the desired consistency. **Add more milk (1 Tbsp at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).*

Assembly:

  • Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface (**NOTE: Skip this step if you used the Bake Even Cake Strips or if your cakes baked perfectly leveled; not needed).
  • Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with frosting. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with frosting. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**
  • Once fully layered, add remaining frosting atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of frosting/buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’.**
  • Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip and add chopped nuts to the top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Apettit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week. To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.
  • LAYERS: For THREE 6-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
  • FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead.
  • CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
  • BUTTER: Instead of melted butter, you can use vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • CHAI SPICE MIX: 2 Tbsps cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • PINEAPPLE JUICE: You can also use canned pineapple chunks and drain the juice out of the cans as a substitute.

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Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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