There is no shortage of carrot cake recipes out there—and for good reason. The soft and almost wet cake carries all of our most beloved spices in its crumb, and it tends to also support a generous amount of silky cream cheese frosting. If you’re obsessed with a good carrot cake, know that you’re in good company.
Not too long ago, Chrissy Teigen posted about an “absurd” homemade carrot cake on her Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Lo and behold, the incredible recipe was none other than Southern Living’s Carrot Cake recipe from 1997. We don’t want to brag, but we have to agree with Chrissy—if you want to try your hand at a carrot cake that is “so, so good,” you shouldn’t look anywhere else.
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Carrot cake is just as versatile as it is delicious, meaning that you can add your own flairs of flavor to this base recipe and come out with a spectacular cake in the end. However, there are a few tips that we recommend you always do when you use our carrot cake recipe:
Toast the nuts and coconut in the recipe. The rich nutty flavors of pecans, walnuts, and coconut are enhanced with a little heat. Gently toasting them in the oven for a few minutes (until they are fragrant) makes the aromatic oils in these ingredients stand out, and this will add an extra layer of complexity and flavor to your cake.
Do not overmix your batter. Once all of the wet ingredients are added and you are ready to incorporate your flour, stir or beat the flour in until it is just incorporated. Overmixing the flour will make for a tough and less appetizing cake.
Trust and use the buttermilk glaze. This recipe calls for a buttermilk glaze that you lightly soak the cakes with after they are finished baking. This step is crucial! The warm cake instantly melts the glaze so it infiltrates the whole cake, and as it cools, the glaze thickens again and replaces any dryness with moist, sweet tang.
Just follow our recipe and these 3 easy tips, and you’ll be off to making the best carrot cake around!