Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

April 8, 2019
This Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting has always been Mom's go-to carrot cake recipe, and it's my go-to now, too.  But there's a "secret" ingredient that gives this version of carrot cake fabulous flavor and wonderful moistness, all without shredding a single carrot.
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Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Image

My Mom has been making this carrot cake recipe forever.  Thinking back to my childhood, there's not a time I remember when this wasn't Mom's carrot cake go-to.

It's so flavorful, tender, and moist ... loaded with fabulous carrot flavor, spiced just right with a touch of ground cinnamon.  It's one of my all-time favorites from Mom's baking line-up, and has become my go-to carrot cake recipe now, too.

And it seems whenever I take this cake anywhere or share a few pieces with some friends, it's not unusual to hear, "This is the best carrot cake I've ever had!"

There's a "secret" ingredient that gives this carrot cake fabulous flavor and wonderful moistness, all without shredding a single carrot.

But Mom's Carrot Cake Sheet Cake recipe has a secret.  Do you want to know what the secret is?

Mom's Carrot Cake Sheet Cake recipe doesn't actually have any shredded carrots in it.  There's a "secret" ingredient that gives this carrot cake fabulous flavor and wonderful moistness, all without shredding a single carrot.

What???

How do you make carrot cake without shredding carrots, you ask?

It's simple - baby food.

Serving a Piece of Carrot Cake Sheet Cake Image

Wait ... You can make carrot cake with baby food carrots??

Absolutely.

And the result is fabulous.

Baby Food Carrots to Make Carrot Cake Sheet Cake Image

Baby food carrots bring great carrot flavor to the cake.  Since they're liquid-y, they disperse throughout the entire batter, every last bit of it.  And they help bring a great tenderness and moistness to the baked cake, too.

Instead of shredding or grating carrots for the carrot cake batter, mix it up with the baby food carrots added in instead.

Pouring Batter to Make Carrot Cake Sheet Cake Image

The cake bakes up nice and tender and delicious.

And then what goes better on carrot cake than cream cheese frosting, right?

Once the cake is baked and cooled whip up a batch of homemade cream cheese frosting, which is really easy to make with a few simple ingredients.  Just whip up some cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, a little vanilla extract, and a small pinch of salt. 

If you'd like tips for making it the best batch ever, check out my post How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting.  Truthfully, I've never met a cream cheese frosting I haven't liked ... but there are some tricks that can make a great thing even that much better!

Making Cream Cheese Frosting Image

Slather the cooled cake generously with the cream cheese frosting ...

Spreading Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Image

And then sprinkle the top with chopped pecans or chopped walnuts for garnish and a little crunch ...

Sprinkling Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Chopped Pecans Image

Chill in the refrigerator for a little bit before cutting to allow the frosting to set a bit.  And then get ready to dig into one of the best carrot cakes around.

Because Mom's Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is fantastic - complete with its "secret" ingredient that gives it fabulous flavor and wonderful moistness, all without shredding a single carrot.

You'll be very pleasantly surprised just how great baby food carrot cake can be!

If you'd rather, this carrot cake can be made as a layer cake, as well.  Just divide the batter between two 8-inch round cake pans and reduce the baking time a bit.  Then slather cream cheese frosting between the layers, on top, and all over the side of the layered cake.

But whether it's in sheet cake or layer cake form, this carrot cake recipe will not disappoint.  You'll be very pleasantly surprised just how great baby food carrot cake can be!

Slice of Carrot Cake Sheet Cake Image
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Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 (4 oz. each) containers baby food carrots
  • 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened {do not substitute reduced fat}
  • 7 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • small pinch salt
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
Directions
  1. CAKE: Combine granulated sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the oil and sugar mixture; mix well.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat in eggs, vanilla, and baby food carrots. Fold in chopped nuts.
  3. Pour batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350℉ for 45 minutes. Cool completely.
  5. FROSTING: Beat butter and cream cheese in bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and salt; reduce mixer speed to low and mix for a few seconds until just combined.
  6. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed for a few seconds between each addition. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 30 seconds until smooth.
  7. Spread frosting in an even layer on top of the cooled cake.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least about an hour before cutting to allow the frosting to set a bit.
  8. Store cake in the refrigerator.
Note:  This can be prepared as a layer cake, if you'd prefer.  Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch round cake pans.  Reduce baking time to about 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely, and frost in between the layers, the top, and sides with the cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy!




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5 comments

  1. this looks amazing! And who would have thought that baby food carrots would add so much to the flavor. Pinned, and here by way of Celebrate Your Story. We would love for your to link-up at Homestyle Gathering via myweeabode.com . :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great short cut to a fabulous carrot cake! I love vintage reicpes like this! Thank you so much for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Tracey. I’ll be featuring it at the party on Monday this coming week! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Your Carrot Cake looks amazing! Hope you have a very special holiday and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tracey, Thanks so much for sharing your Carrot cake with us at Celebrate Your Story Link Party last week. Hope you are having a great weekend and come back to link up with us again. By the way, I chose your cake for one of my features for the week and you can see that post at 8 pm on Monday, the 15th.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks delicious! This will be one of my features tomorrow at the Snickerdoodle link party!

    ReplyDelete

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