This moist, delicious, super easy carrot cake is made in the food processor. The best part? It takes 5 minutes, from start to the oven!
This moist, delicious, easy carrot cake wasn’t exactly what I’d planned for today, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
There are times when the best-laid plans go to the dogs. I’ve been working on a delicious one-bowl, super easy cake that everyone’s gone crazy over. After tweaking and testing 5 times, it was perfect. All I needed was pictures, so I got up early this morning to make the wonderful cake for a photo shoot. I could hardly wait to share it with you today. Despite being 24˚F here in the North Carolina mountains, I jumped out of bed, put the easy cake together and popped it in the oven. Halfway into the baking time, the lights went out. No power. No oven. No cake.
But as I sat shivering in the cold house (24˚F outside) and my cake sat half baked in the oven, I was reminded of another amazingly easy cake that’s gotten buried in the Café archives. I decided to pull it out and make it myself (as soon as we have power again!). It’s one of our favorite cakes ever and is so darn easy that it’s almost ridiculous. I thought you might enjoy this Easy Carrot Cake as much as we do.
Cake in a food processor?
Yes! You might find it hard to believe but this easy carrot cake is made in the food processor. If you’re like me, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you can throw a cake together with this little kitchen workhorse and how delicious this recipe will turn out. The cake has a sweet, crisp crust and tender, moist crumb.
Although I’ve used my food processor for all kinds of kitchen tasks, I thought it would be fun to explore some new ways of putting it to work, so I started doing a little online research. I was quite intrigued with some of the recipes I found for making cakes in a food processor. Cake, really? I had a hard time believing a cake whirled up in just a few minutes would be as good as a traditional cake made with a stand mixer.
As I did a bit of research on food processor cakes, I came upon a somewhat strange recipe, simply called Consumer Reports Carrot Cake. The article explained that, quite a while back when Consumer Reports did a review on food processors, they included this cake recipe in the article. I probably would have passed right by it, except for a comment written by a reader: “‘This is always the cake my six grandsons request for their birthdays”.
Anytime I hear a proclamation like that, my curiosity is quite peaked, as I’m pretty certain it’s going to be a great recipe! So I made it. And then made it again, and again, and again. And at least two more times. I made bundt cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes and loaf cakes, all with this same recipe.
It’s so easy and, oh my goodness, so moist and delicious! If I have all of my ingredients out and measured (mise en place), I can honestly have this Easy Carrot Cake whipped up and ready for the oven in less than five minutes. Seriously! So pull out that food processor and see if you’re not amazed when you take the first bite of this easy carrot cake!
Café Tips for making this Easy Carrot Cake
- This Easy Carrot Cake is wonderful on its own, or just with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, but I’m also including the recipe for a Buttermilk Glaze, which is stirred together and then reduced a bit in the microwave. After the cake has cooled slightly the glaze is brushed on, leaving a shiny, sweet layer of deliciousness as it dries.
- I love this Nordic Ware Bundt pan. I used to have trouble with my cakes sticking to the pan, but with this one, the cakes just slide out like a dream!
- That being said, I always use baking spray when making a bundt cake. Baking spray differs from cooking spray in that in addition to shortening, it also has some flour in it. This combination keeps baked goods from sticking. I spray the pan generously with baking spray then rub the spray into all the little grooves with a paper towel. Then I lightly spray the whole pan one more time with the baking spray.
- If your food processor is less than 12 cup capacity, I would make it up to step 3 (below) where the dry ingredients are added, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour by hand.
- This Easy Carrot Cake freezes well. Just let it cool completely, then freeze for one hour, unwrapped. Once it’s frozen fairly solid you can wrap it tightly with foil or plastic wrap without smushing the cake. Unwrap and thaw before serving.
- If you’re in the market for a food processor or need a gift for your favorite cook, this is a wonderful, super versatile food processor. I’ve had mine for about 6 months now and it’s been a little workhorse in my kitchen. It’s simple but really heavy-duty (like they used to make them) and has lots of power.
P.S. Another wonderful, easy cake you may not have seen is this French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake. It has a funny name and a wonderful history. You can put this one together in one bowl and have it on the table in less than an hour!
This Easy Carrot Cake with Buttermilk Glaze is believably easy (like only 5 minutes from start to oven!) and unbelievably moist and delicious!
- For the cake:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil such as sunflower oil or canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and roughly chopped if large I like to use the baby carrots which are already peeled but any type of carrots is fine.
- ¾ cup pecans
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- For the buttermilk glaze:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Spray a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan* with baking spray.
- Add the eggs, oil and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute until smooth.
Slowly add carrots and pecans through the tube. When they appear to be fully grated, remove the lid and add flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, cloves and giner. Replace lid and pulse four times, just until dry ingredients are mixed. It's okay if there is a little flour still on the surface and at the edges. Just mix a little by hand until flour disappears.
Pour batter into the prepared pan/s and place in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 375˚F. Bake until cake is firm when lightly touched in the center and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, a total of 45-50 minutes.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes then invert onto cooling rack. Brush with glaze and allow to cool completely before moving or cutting.
Make glaze after the cake is finished baking. Place all ingredients in a large (be sure it's large, as the mixture will bubble up) microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute on high, then stir well. Return to microwave and cook another 2-4 minutes until glaze is beginning to thicken. Check frequently after two minutes as each microwave is different. Brush hot glaze on the cake with a pastry brush. Try to cover all of the surfaces of the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Adapted by Chris Scheuer from Consumer Reports/The Times-Picayune