Remember that guilty carrot cake Instagram post from
a few weeks more than a month ago?
I’m not sure whether I should be more embarrassed that I (quite literally) had a second breakfast consisting of carrot cake that day, or that this recipe – which I promised would be on the blog soon – has been hanging in limbo for weeks since then. THIS is why I rarely show sneak-peeks of what’s recipes are coming up next; I barely know myself, and when I think I do, I’ll somehow manage to mess my plans up anyway.
This carrot cake was actually created for Easter – of 2013 – and then I somehow goofed up and didn’t post it in time. I thought about it all year long but so much wanted it to be an Easter post that I kept it a secret until this year, when I made it again, took new photos, and got all set for the big day… only to miss it again. I seriously considered saving it for Easter 2015, but really? It just needs to be out there. I don’t want to keep it to myself anymore. So anyhow, I’m not sure this post is actually appropriate, time-wise, but since it’s still spring and carrot cake will always be a classic, I hope I’m not the only one who’s still down for a slice.
So out of a million and one carrot cake recipes that probably exist out there, what do I love about this one? For one, it’s wayyyyy low in oil, thanks to a special little ingredient I like to call applesauce. (Wait, what? You call it applesauce too? HAH) But seriously, go google carrot cake right now and take a look for yourself. Most recipes call for at least double the amount of oil for half the amount of flour used in this recipe. The last thing I want is my cake having even a *remote* chance of tasting like oil, so applesauce saves the day. The other thing? No mixer needed! Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love my stand mixer and can’t imagine a kitchen without one, but sometimes it’s easier to just do things old school with a bowl and whisk ➝ that’s what happens here.
And then, last but most certainly not least, there’s the taste. SO moist and tender, not too sweet, and topped with a heavenly cream cheese glaze that can go either classically tangy or warm and spicy? I think yes. Definitely dessert-for-breakfast worthy. :)
Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
An easy recipe for moist and tender carrot cake – no mixer needed! Top with a sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze (spiced up with a bit of cinnamon, if you’re in the mood!) for a classic springtime dessert.
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: one 9-10 inch bundt cake 1x
Carrot Bundt Cake
- 19 1/8 ounces (4 1/2 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 10 5/8 ounces (1 1/4 cups) unsweetened applesauce
- 8 ounces (1 cup) greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- 11 1/2 ounces (4 cups) shredded carrots, divided
- 15 ounces (2 cups, packed) brown sugar
- 3 7/8 ounces (1/2 cup) vegetable or canola oil
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 3 ounces (3/4 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
- 3–6 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- cinnamon, to taste (optional)
Carrot Bundt Cake
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a blender, combine the applesauce, yogurt, and 2 7/8 ounces (1 cup) shredded carrots and blend together until smooth.
- In a separate, large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and oil until the sugar is evenly moistened and the the mixture is wet and clumpy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well-combined ; the mixture should be paler in color and smooth. Add the blender mixture and the vanilla and whisk in until smooth; the batter will be very liquidy.
- Fold in the dry ingredients just until no longer visible, and then gently fold in the remaining 8 5/8 ounces (3 cups) shredded carrots, just until dispersed.
- Pour batter into bundt pan and smooth out the top surface with a spatula. Shake back and forth a few times to level the top and rap firmly on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a skewer inserted all the way through the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan 15 minutes before flipping the cake over onto a wire rack. Allow cake to cool completely before glazing.
- Cake can be made a day ahead and glazed the following day; store cake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to glaze.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- In a microwave safe measuring glass or bowl, microwave the cream cheese for about 20 seconds, just until soft enough to whisk. Whisk until somewhat smoothed and loosened.
- Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon (if using) and whisk until smooth. Add the milk or cream, starting with 3 tablespoons and gradually adding more as needed until the glaze is thick but pourable. Pour over the top of the bundt cake and allow to drizzle over the sides.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers should be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I always recommend using a high-quality pan for bundt cakes in order to ensure your cake comes out cleanly every time. This is the pan I use (and love!)
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, included only because I believe it will be a relevant and helpful resource for readers. :)