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Small Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Small Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosted small carrot cake on cake stand pinit
Frosted small carrot cake on cake stand

Monday was my 7th wedding anniversary so I made something to celebrate. Seven years ago our amazing friend made our wedding cake. The bottom layer (which was our favorite) was her grandmother’s carrot cake recipe. While that recipe is a closely guarded family secret, I still wanted to make a smaller carrot cake in honor of this special day. Our actual cake makes an appearance at the end of this post.

My carrot cake recipe is adapted from my trusty Edmond’s Cookbook. This recipe makes a perfectly moist two-tier 6″ small carrot cake. If filling and stacking a cake does not sound appealing to you this recipe will also make a single layer 8″ cake. A classic cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing for this cake.

Making the cake

Warm spices add depth and flavor to the cake while crushed pineapple helps keep it moist. Start by beating the eggs and sugars in a large bowl until creamy. A stand mixer or hand mixer works for this.

Eggs and sugar beat until creamy

Add the oil and vanilla to the egg mixture and mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined. You do not want to over mix as this will lead to a dense cake.

Flour, baking soda and spices in separate bowl for whisking
Carrot cake batter after dry ingredients mixed into wet ingredients

Finally, fold the carrot, crushed pineapple and orange zest into the batter. Pour the batter evenly into two prepared 6″ cake pans (or one 8″ cake pan). To ensure the cakes are even size and height I like to weigh my completed batter. I then weigh out half the batter in each pan. Bake the cakes at 350°F for 30 minutes or tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Completed carrot cake batter in mixing bowl

Cream Cheese Frosting

When making cream cheese frosting use block cream cheese and not spreadable cream cheese. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least two hours before you plan to make the frosting. This will help the cream cheese soften and allow for a smoother frosting. If you forget to take the cream cheese out prior you can microwave the block for 20-30 seconds to soften it. Ensure you remove the foil wrapper before placing in the microwave.

It is easiest to make cream cheese frosting in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, however a hand beater will also work. You will want to beat the cream cheese well before add the butter to ensure any lumps are worked out. You will also want to beat well after adding the butter.

If the frosting consistency is a little thick after adding the powdered sugar, vanilla and zest add a small amount of lemon juice until the desired consistency is met.

Bird's eye view of small carrot cake with slice cut out on plate beside whole cake
My wedding cake from 7 years prior
Our wedding cake

Small Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 30 min Rest Time 10 min Total Time 1 hr Servings: 8


Warm spices add an extra depth of flavor to this classic carrot cake while crushed pineapple helps keep it extra moist. Paired with classic cream cheese frosting this is the perfect small carrot cake.



Cream Cheese Frosting


Carrot Cake

    1. Beat eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy
    2. Add oil and vanilla and beat well
    3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
    4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined
    5. Fold in grated carrot, crushed pineapple and orange zest
    6. Divide batter equally into prepared cake pans
    7. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean
    8. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to finish cooling

Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth in the bowl of a stand mixer
    2. Scrap sides, add butter and continue to beat until smooth
    3. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and beat until smooth
    4. Using a serrated knife or cake leveler remove the domed top of the cakes
    5. Add a layer of frosting to one of the leveled cake
    6. Stack the second cake on top of the frosted cake and top with another layer of frosting (if desired you can also frost the sides of the cake)
Keywords: Carrot Cake, Pineapple, Cream Cheese Frosting, Cake

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