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Best Carrot Cake + Chai Cream Cheese Frosting
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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.
Course Dessert
Keyword baked, cake, carrot cake, carrots, chai, christmas, classic, cream cheese, cupcakes, dessert, easy, fall recipe, fluffy, healthy, holidays, homemade, indulge, natural, pecans, pineapple, plant-based, recipe, sheet cake, soft, southern, spices, sweet, traditional, vegetarian, walnuts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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!

Notes

  • 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.