Homemade carrot cake is easy and delicious, especially when it is covered in a luscious and creamy bourbon infused browned butter frosting. Once you have this carrot cake, no other recipe will do!
Homemade Carrot Cake Brings Up Memories
Carrot cake always makes me think of my sister. I seem to recall that this was the cake she requested for her birthday most often. Her birthday is in March so perhaps I am just getting confused with Easter, regardless I always associate my middle sister with carrot cake.
I remember one year, we had a crazy snow and ice storm on my sister’s birthday. I was in my 20’s and living on my own in a dumpy, studio apartment in a shady part of town. It was the kind of weather where you were warned to stay off the roads unless travel was necessary. I told myself travel was essential…. I had to see my sister on her birthday, right? The truth was I was lonely and did not want to be stuck in my tiny apartment during a snowstorm, besides where there is a birthday there is birthday cake and damn it, I wanted cake.
It took me an hour and a half to get to my sister’s house, a good hour longer than a normal commute and when I arrived, my sister was cutting her carrot cake. The thing was, back then I HATED carrot cake, so to say I was disappointed was an understatement.
My tastes have changed since then, carrot cake is one of my favorites, but only if it is a homemade carrot cake. I like to control the ingredients and the frosting (no cream cheese frosting for me please)!
Notes on Homemade Carrot Cake:
- This cake can be made into a layered cake; I used a bundt pan for one reason, I was too lazy to mess with layers.
- I used a food processor to finely shred my carrots, I am not big on having large slivers of carrot, plus the food processor makes short work of it all.
- The frosting: browned butter may sound complicated, however, it is anything but. Browned butter is simply butter that cooks on the stove until it turns a deep, amber color. The process requires little more than your attention as once the butter turns amber, it can burn quite quickly. Allow the butter to cool in the refrigerator. You want it to turn semi-solid; meaning you want it to be soft enough for you to cream in your frosting.
- Once you have your browned butter, your frosting comes together like any other buttercream. Be sure to add enough milk to create a creamy, frosting. I love browned butter so much, I used for this Toasted Pecan Quick Bread Recipe, these Browned Butter Blondies, these homemade waffles and these Cowboy Cookies!
- The bourbon adds a deep ribbon of flavor in the frosting, it can be omitted.
- If cupcakes are your thing, you should try these Carrot Cake Cupcakes!
This homemade carrot cake is worthy of Easter, birthdays, Christmas, Saturday’s, snow days, good hair days….
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups raw carrots finely shredded (about 8 medium carrots)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons bourbon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs until frothy and slowly mix in the oil. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture until fully combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then place a plate over the pan, invert to remove the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is baking start the frosting. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the butter until turns an amber coloring, taking care to watch the butter closely as it can burn easily. Pour the butter into a bowl and place it in the refrigerator until it firms up but remains soft enough that your finger will leave an indentation when pressed.
When butter is ready, place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time along with the bourbon. Beat until the mixture it is a spreadable consistency, adding milk or more sugar as necessary. Spread the frosting over the cake, garnishing with the cake with extra pecans if desired.
Amount Per ServingCalories 0 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 0mg Fiber 0g Sugar 0g Protein 0g