Recipe: Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese frosting

This is The Best Carrot Cake of All Time. I shit you not. I got the original from Bon Appétit, but I’ve modified it to it’s current excellence.

The original was super oily, so I cut the oil and subbed in some yogurt, so it’s still super moist.

maple cream cheese iced carrot cake
maple cream cheese iced carrot cake



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots (about 10 average sized carrots)
  • (optional) 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F and set out the cream cheese and butter for the icing so it can get nice and squishy soft.

Grease two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and spices in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar, oil, and yogurt in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots and crystallized ginger. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.

While the cake is baking: using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. I usually forget to set them out before I make the cake, so I throw them in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it reaches the desired squishiness. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended. Beat in maple syrup and vanilla. Chill until just firm enough to spread, 30 minutes.

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with about 1/3 of the icing. Top with second layer. Spread remaining icing over entire cake. Garnish with cinnamon or crystallized ginger (optional).

We can never wait very long to eat the first slice, but I think this cake is really best after it’s been refrigerated (which explains the crappy lighting in the photo. It was about 9 pm and I was not about to wait for daylight.).

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