Classic Carrot Cake
Make the best-ever carrot cake with this recipe for Classic Carrot Cake. Moist and packed with flavor from chai spice and cinnamon, this carrot cake, studded with pistachios, is a real winner.
FOR THE CAKE, WHISK:
FOR THE FROSTING, BEAT:
We used three 8-inch layers for this cake, but one 9×13 or three 9-inch pans work, too. Just note that you'll need less frosting for a 9×13-inch cake.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line three 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. (If using a 9×13-inch pan, eliminate parchment paper but coat with nonstick spray.)
For the cake, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, chai spice blend, cinnamon, and salt.
Cream eggs, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms ribbons, 5–7 minutes. Slowly drizzle in oil, while continuing to mix, until incorporated. Stir in carrots and chopped pistachios.
Fold half the flour mixture into creamed mixture. Once flour mixture is nearly incorporated, stir in buttermilk. Fold in remaining flour mixture until batter is combined.
Divide batter evenly among cake pans. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35–40 minutes (45 minutes if using a 9×13-inch pan). Cool cakes on a rack, 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
For the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, and pineapple juice in a bowl with a mixer until combined. Mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition, until sugar is fully incorporated. Beat frosting until light and fluffy.
To frost cake, place one cake layer top side down on a serving plate or cake stand; spread frosting to edges. Top with a cake layer and more frosting; stack final cake layer on top. Spread frosting onto sides of stacked layers until covered. Spread frosting on top layer of cake, smooth with the sides, then press sides of cake with ground pistachios.
Keep cake texture light and prevent a soggy bottom by adding oil in a thin stream to emulsify with sugar and eggs.
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter just until blended. Overmixing results in a cake with tunneling and a tough crumb.
Press pistachios onto the cake with your palm. To catch any stray nuts, place the cake stand on a baking sheet.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 53%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 87mg 28%
Sodium 361mg 15%
Carbs 101g 33%
Fiber 2g 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.