Soft, creamy, rich and easy carrot cake with a luscious mascarpone frosting. The perfect healthy-ish dessert to satisfy your cake cravings!
If you have never tried the classic American carrot cake before, you're just one taste away from falling in love with the best cake ever invented.
A classic carrot cake is simply amazing. Tastes super delicious and is super soft but with loads of character. The combination of spongy cake with carrots, nuts and the cheese frosting is just incredible.
What's in the cake?
This easy carrot cake version is incredibly moist and rich, gently spiced and with some most-welcomed crunchy bits here and there. I swapped classic cream cheese with Italian mascarpone cheese, and I'm so glad I did! Turned out to be one of the most delicious cakes I have ever had.
Best of all, you only need basic simple ingredients to throw it together.
Flour, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla are the basic foundation - opt for wholewheat flour and muscovado sugar for a more rustic, deep flavour).
Nutmeg and cinnamon, the evergreen spice combo that brings this cake to the next level - some add ground ginger too!
Almonds and walnuts add a crunchy texture - roasted pecans and hazelnuts would work amazingly well too.
As you can see, this super easy dessert is packed with healthy good stuff, the nuts and veggie provide a great source of nutrients, making this cake on the health-ish side.
And then, let's not forget about the cream.
All About The Cream
The orange & mascarpone cream is the perfect frosting for this cake.
It's rich, luscious with a refreshing citrusy note, a flavor combo that could elevate any cake ( I also used it to frost my magic water cake, and it was a success!)
Many carrot cake recipes call for soft cream cheese, but I try to stick either to fresh ricotta or mascarpone cheese, depending on whether I want a healthier or richer cream.
This time, to balance all the healthy goodness packed in the cake already, I opted for the mascarpone.
The secret for a showstopper mascarpone cream is to keep it as light as you can.
Add the zest of an orange for extra zing, and replace sugar with maple syrup, and you have a cream made to impress.
I love using this cream as a frosting for water chocolate muffins, or use it for cakes fillings, cheesecakes.
If you're craving something sweet, a slice of this fabulous cake will make a delicious treat for breakfast /snack /dessert /anytime-really.
Another reason to love this carrot cake - but I'm sure you're pretty convinced by now- is that it's super easy to put together.
This easy carrot cake requires only 4 simple steps and less than an hour to make.
Before you know it, you'll be indulging into a big slice of cake and making your own peace with the world.
UPDATE: I LOVE this cake so much, that over the years I've tested some pretty exciting versions.
If you want to try a great allergy-friendly version of this easy carrot cake, jump on these dairy-free carrot cake donuts. They are super moist and taste just as good!
More Healthy-ish Desserts To Try:
- The EASIEST Vegan Chocolate Muffins
- 2-Ingredient Cookies (Vegan + Flourless)
- Water Cake: A Dairy-free, Egg-free, Magic Cake
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment and/or a rating below, and share a picture and tag @thepetitecook on Instagram! Reading your feedback and looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Easy Carrot Cake with Orange Mascarpone Cream
- 130 gr muscovado sugar
- 120 ml sunflower seed oil
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- juice and grated zest of one orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240 g whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 pinches sea salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 300 gr carrots finely grated
- 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 3 tbsp chopped almonds
For the mascarpone cream:
- 250 gr italian mascarpone cheese
- 100 gr confectioner's sugar
- zest and juice of ½ orange
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 360°F and arrange a baking tray onto the middle shelf.
- In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.
- In another large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients exept for the carrots and nuts.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Mix until fully combined, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
- Finally add chopped carrots and nuts. Butter the cake pan and sprinkle with sugar, pour the mixture in, making sure that it does not exceed ⅔ of the mold.
- Bake the carrot cake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In the meantime, whisk the mascarpone cheese with sugar, until you to get a smooth and rich cream. Add freshly grated orange zest and juice and mix until just combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and let cool before removing it from the pan.
- Cut the cake in half horizontally, and spread the cream on the surface. You can cover the cake entirely with cream or just the top of it.
- Decorate with chopped nuts and carrot flakes and serve, or store in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2015 and updated with improved photography and instructions.