Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing - Easy to mix up cake baked in a sheet pan with a simple, tangy cream cheese icing
I decided to create a new recipe for our family Easter dinner on Friday. I wanted the dessert recipe to fit a Spring/Easter theme, but be easy to make for a big group, because I'm also roasting a turkey, cooking up a bunch of potatoes and vegetables and hosting the dinner. So I guess I better get cleaning too! (This is harder than it seems, because we're moving again in a month haha)
As I was paging through my recipe notebook the other day I came across my caramel apple sheet cake recipe and inspiration struck - Carrot Cake as a sheet cake! So easy to make, and quick to decorate with just one layer.
And of course it had to be cream cheese icing. For the icing, I used a whole bar of cream cheese and only a cup or so of powdered sugar. I like a really tangy cream cheese icing, so I also put a little bit of lemon juice in. I loved the results and I hope you do to if you try this one.
How to Make Carrot Cake Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
To make the cake batter, finely shred your carrots and then set them aside. Make your buttermilk right now if you're making it. I always make buttermilk when I need it, and I do this by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a one cup measure and then filling it the rest of the way with milk. Let that sit while everything else mixes up.
In a mixer (or by hand) beat together the butter and sugar until it's really light and fluffy. I use a standing mixer, so I always find it's worth it to just let the mixer go and really cream these together for quite a few minutes. A beating blade with a rubber edge on it makes it so easy because it scrapes the bowl as it mixes. Perfect.
Once that's nice and fluffy add the vanilla and the eggs. Mix them well. Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Starting with the dry ingredients and alternating with the buttermilk, mix everything else together and then add the carrots.
Pour the batter onto a 11 x 16 sheet pan that's covered with parchment paper. I smooth it out with a offset spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. (Ovens vary) Then cool completely.
While it bakes and cools, make the icing. Like I said above, I like mine more tangy than sweet, but feel free to add more sugar if you like yours sweeter. Top the cake with the icing and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula then serve right away or refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!
Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing
For the Cake:
- 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour ((300 grams))
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4-6 medium carrots (peeled and finely grated)
For the Icing:
- 8 oz 1 brick cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Prepare large 11 x 16 pan with parchment paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, mix thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Alternating and starting with the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and dry ingredients, mixing to combine.
- Mix in grated carrot.
- Pour batter onto sheet pan and use offset spatula to smooth out.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and cake is cooked through (Ovens vary).
- Let cool completely.
For the Icing:
- Make icing by whipping up the cream cheese until it is incredibly smooth (scraping down the bowl – important or you will have lumps). Add the lemon juice and extract and mix, and finally add the sugar and beat until smooth.
- Use offset spatula again to smooth icing on top of cooled cake. Refrigerate until needed, or serve immediately.