This Small Carrot Cake Recipe is a moist and tender single layer carrot cake with walnuts, warm spices and a homemade cream cheese frosting!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot (see note)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, full fat brick (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2–3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with slightly overhanging parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the almond milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes until the milk curdles.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, curdled milk, oil, egg and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth (but don’t over mix).
- Fold in the carrots and walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
- Add the cream cheese and butter to a deep mixing bowl and beat on high until creamed together.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. (Use more powdered sugar for a thicker and sweeter frosting).
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake and top with chopped walnuts (optional).
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.
- Freshly grate your carrots by using the small holes on a box grater. Avoid larger shreds or prepackaged shredded carrots which can be dry.
- Walnuts are optional. Leave them out or use pecans instead.
- Make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened at room temperature so they cream together easily and create a smooth texture for the frosting.
- I like my cream cheese frosting less sweet with a more pronounced cream cheese flavor so I use about 2 – 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. For a sweeter and thicker froster, just add more powdered sugar.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting. If the cake is still warm, the cream cheese frosting will start to melt as you spread it on.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: small batch, one layer, single layer, small carrot cake