{Brown Butter Carrot Cake}

{Brown Butter Carrot Cake}

As a food blogger, I try out new recipes all the time (I just haven’t been posting them!). But there are a handful of recipes I repeat time and time again. This carrot cake recipe is one of the rare few that I turn back to; as far as recipes go, this one is my rock, the one I rely on.

October has arrived, and while the warm weather (where I live) makes me question whether autumn is really here, it’s that time of the year when I long for foods that warm and comfort the soul. With a newly fixed oven and a little restless energy on a Saturday afternoon, it was time to bring this one back out. Carrot cake is a favorite year round, but the spices and heartiness make it the perfect way to usher in the colors and glow of fall.

Which brings me to why I love this recipe so much. Let me count the ways:

  1. No creaming butter with sugar: I don’t enjoy the creaming process at all. I’m always worried I won’t get enough air into the butter. And I don’t want to want to wait for the butter to soften. No need for any of that with this recipe.
  2. Two words–brown butter: Browning the butter adds an additional layer of nuttiness in flavor and aroma. If any recipe uses melted butter, brown it first. You’ll be glad you did.
  3. Less refined flour: As a financier based recipe, this one uses a mix of almond meal and regular all-purpose flour. Replacing the all-purpose flour with an alternative flour also yields good results for the gluten-sensitive.
  4. Mix it up: Don’t like raisins in your carrot cake? Use pineapple and coconut for a tropical flair instead. Want to add a little decadence? Mix in chocolate chips. Or make it extra hearty with nuts and extra carrots–which is how I like it. You can change the flavor profile each time you make it.
  5. Forget the layering: I’m all for “rustic charm”–and really, I can’t be bothered with leveling and splitting cakes. Pop it out of the pan, slather on the frosting, and serve large slices. People will love it just the same.
Carrot cake-baking at tiffany's

This carrot cake recipe that I love so much is adapted from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking, but it shouldn’t be a secret how good this cake is.

Recipe notes: In the version I made this past weekend, as a trial, I omitted the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (instead of 1 cup all-purpose flour)–the cake wasn’t as moist (though not by any means dry) but was still flavorful and I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all. However, I’m posting the original ingredients and proportions for the carrot cake.

{Brown Butter Carrot Cake}


    • Carrot Cake:

    • 1/2 pound or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, browned (see instructions)
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup almond meal
    • 1 t. baking powder
    • 1 t. baking soda
    • 1 t. ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup regular granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 T. vanilla extract
    • 2 carrots, grated
    • 1 – 2 cups of raisins, nuts, shredded coconut, pineapple, etc. of your choice

Cream Cheese Frosting (for one cake)

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. orange extract (my variation)


    1. Carrot Cake

    2. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9″ pans (or you can line with parchment paper).
    3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns a dark golden brown color. There will be bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature.
    4. Sift together flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the dry ingredients together for about 30 seconds.
    5. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs lightly. Then whisk in the sugars, cinnamon and vanilla, each one at a time, until well combined.
    6. Mix the sugar and egg mixture into the dry ingredients on low. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes.
    7. On low, gradually stream in the liquid brown butter, including the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Mix for about 30 seconds on medium, then increase the speed to high for 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape sides of the bowl down.
    8. Fold in carrots and any other additions. This can be done by hand.
    9. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert the pans to remove the cakes and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and any other flavorings, and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Frost each cake as desired once the cakes are completely cooled.

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Eva Rosenberg

Eva Rosenberg

Welcome to Eva's Kitchen where I share my adventures in cooking. My creations may not always turn out Pinterest perfect, but I usually end up with a funny picture or an interesting meal. Thanks for stopping by!


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