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Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 1h 45m



  • 1 1/4 c All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/4 c Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c Brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c Granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c Vegetable oil (or canola, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 1/3 c Buttermilk, shaken
  • 2 Eggs, large
  • 1 1/4 c Carrots, grated
  • 3/4 c Walnuts, chopped


  • 6 tbsp. Butter, cubed
  • 5 oz Cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c Powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 tsp. Heavy cream



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8x8" baking pan (or a 9" round or 2 6" rounds) by greasing it and covering the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and white sugar, then add the brown sugar and vegetable oil. Beat until nice and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in one egg. After fully incorporated, beat in the second egg.
  5. Add half the butter milk and half the dry mix to the bowl. Beat on low until just combined. Add the second halves and beat until just combined. Scrape the bowl on the sides and bottom with a spatula to catch any unmixed ingredients.
  6. Beat in the carrots and walnuts on low until distributed.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature.


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cubed butter. Once melted, it will foam and bubble. Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until brown specs start forming, around 10 minutes. The bubbling will stop and it will have a nutty aroma.
  2. Pour the butter into a heat-proof bowl and place in the freezer to chill for around 10 minutes. When it starts to firm up on the sides, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer with the softened cream cheese. Swirl the bowl for a minute or so until the butter has firmed up to room-temperature softness.
  3. Beat the browned butter and cream cheese until smooth. Sift in half of the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream. Beat to combine.
  5. Add the remaining half of the powdered sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy.
  6. If it is too loose, either add more powdered sugar or chill in the fridge for a few minutes and beat for another couple minutes.


  1. To assemble, move the cake to a cutting board. With a long cerated knife, level off the top (if necessary). Cover the top with the whipped frosting and decorate how you like. If you'd like to stack this as a layered cake, slice it in half vertically to make 2 rectangles. Divide the frosting in two then frost the top of one half, flip the other cake half on top of that and frost the top of your cake.
  2. Leave covered in a cool place. It stays moist for up to 4 days.
  3. Note: for use as cupcakes, bake for around 20 minutes at 350°F. The batter and frosting yields 6-8 cupcakes.