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Carrot Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Roasted Walnuts

March 20 2024
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Carrot Cake, a definite favourite! Whether it's a round single-layer cake, loaf cake, or layered cake, I love them all. On my website, you'll find a few variations, but this layered version is reserved for special moments like birthdays, celebrations, or those times when you're craving something extra special.

This cake is perfectly moist with just the right amount of spice. I love it topped with roasted walnuts and fresh orange zest for added texture and a burst of flavour, while also enhancing its appearance. Feel free to personalise the toppings based on your preferences and what's available.

I hope you love this one! Feel free to ask any questions and please let me know if you make it @gatherandfeast

 

 

 

Carrot Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Roasted Walnuts | Gather & Feast

Carrot Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Roasted Walnuts | Gather & Feast

Ingredients

Vegetarian, Gluten-free option
45 minutes preparation time + 30 minutes cooking time
12

Cake

  • 250ml (1 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g (1 1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 eggs
  • 350g grated carrot (roughly 5 large carrots)
  • 315g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda/baking soda
  • 200g (3/4 cup) thick unsweetened natural Greek yoghurt
  • 60g (3/4 cup) roasted walnuts, roughly chopped


Cream cheese frosting

  • 500g (17.6oz) cream cheese
  • 60g (4 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
  • 90g (2/3 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


Toppings

  • 20g (1/4 cup) roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange

 

EQUIPMENT

  • 2 x 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins, 5cm (2-inch) high
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Scales or measuring cups
  • Stand mixer or hand beaters (for the frosting)
  • Offset spatula (optional, for frosting)

 

Method

Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line two 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins, 5cm (2-inch) high, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and spices until smooth.
  3. Add grated carrot and mix well.
  4. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, yoghurt, and chopped walnuts until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the tins before removing. You can speed up the cooling process by placing them in the fridge or freezer.


Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer or large bowl with hand beaters, beat the softened butter until smooth.
  2. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and icing sugar, and beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.


Assembly

  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, place one layer onto a serving plate.
  2. Spread about a third of the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top of the first layer.
  3. Place the second layer on top and spread another third of the frosting around the sides of the cake.
  4. Spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth it out.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped roasted walnuts and freshly grated orange zest.

 

NOTES

  • Ensure that the carrots are finely grated for the cake batter. Using a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment can help achieve the desired texture.
  • The cake is moist and tender due to the addition of olive oil and Greek yoghurt. Be careful not to over-mix the batter to avoid a dense texture in the finished cake.
  • Oven temperatures can vary, so it's important to start checking the cakes for doneness around the 25-minute mark. They are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely in the tins before removing them. Cooling in the fridge or freezer can speed up the process if needed.
  • Ensure that the cream cheese and butter are softened at room temperature before making the frosting. This helps achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
  • The assembled cake can be stored covered in the fridge overnight before serving. Leftover slices can also be stored in the fridge for several days or frozen for longer storage.
  • The cake layers can also be made ahead by wrapping them in plastic wrap and freezing them. When you're ready to use them, simply remove them from the freezer and thaw before assembling them according to the recipe instructions.
  • The recipe can be adapted to accommodate various dietary preferences or restrictions. For example, it can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend in a 1:1 ratio. I have personally had success with brands like Bob's Red Mill and White Wings. Additionally, it can be made dairy-free by substituting plant-based alternatives for cream cheese, yoghurt, and butter.

Free Resources

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