This brown butter carrot cake is a layered semi-naked cake. It has three layers of heavily spiced moist carrot cake. Then, it is full of cream cheese frosting. This cake has walnuts on top, but it is nut free in the cake!
How To Make Carrot Cake Batter
- Grate carrots- Don’t use already grated carrots, because they will be too hard. Grate fresh carrots to get the most moist cake.
- Brown butter- Use a frying pan to brown butter quickly. Stir the melted butter until it starts to foam. Then, once the milk deposits separate, stir until it turn amber. Let it cool before eating.
- Mix dry ingredients- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, rising agents, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. This cake is very spiced!
- Mix wet ingredients- Mix the brown butter, brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Once smooth, add in all the carrots.
- Add in eggs- Add the eggs in all at once and whisk until combined.
- Mix in dry ingredients into the wet- Use a whisk and mix until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl to make sure all is combined.
What Pans To Use
This recipe I designed it to be for three 8 inch cake pans. However, you can use four 6 inch cake pans.
Pour the batter into the pans evenly by using a kitchen scale to get even layers.
Making The Cakes Ahead Of Time
Once the cakes are cooled, wrap tightly in cling wrap. Then, freeze for up to a week. I actually did this for these cakes.
Then, pull the cakes out 1 hour before decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting
This cream cheese frosting is the best because it has a small amount of cream cheese. It gives it a tang, but it isn’t soupy like other cream cheese frostings.
First, the cream cheese needs to be room temperature. Pull it out 2 hours before making the frosting.
Next, the butter needs to be set on the counter for 30 minutes. This will make the butter slightly cold. It should be cold to the touch, but you can leave a finger indent.
Use a mixer, to beat the butter and cream cheese. Beat for a few minutes to get it very light and fluffy. Next, add in the powdered sugar. The powdered sugar needs to be sifted to avoid any grittiness.
The butter should be very thick. Then, add in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined, then switch to high and beat until smooth and light.
The frosting is best, when used immediately.
Assembling The Cake
- Place a small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating the cake on. This will keep the cake in place.
- Place the first layer of cake bottom side down. Then, pour 1 cup of frosting on the cake layer and smooth with an offset spatula.
- Repeat with the second layer. Place the last layer bottom side up. Use a cake scrapper to smooth any frosting that spilled out the sides. Then, freeze for 10 minutes to set the frosting.
- Frost the cake. To achieve this semi-naked look, use the cake scraper to smooth the side until parts of the cake peaks through. Then, apply a thick layer of frosting on the top of the cake.
- Top with toasted walnuts.
How To Store The Cake
Since the brown butter carrot cake has cream cheese frosting, it needs to be stored in the fridge. Store in an air tight container or cake carrier up to 5 days.
Freezing The Cake
The cake can be frozen! Wrap each individual cake slice in cling wrap and store in an air tight container. Freeze up to 30 days.
Then, pull out each slice and place on the counter to thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Brown Butter Carrot Cake
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
- 10 TBSP Unsalted butter browned
- 2 cups Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 1 cup Sour cream room temperature
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups Shredded carrots about 8 medium carrots
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 8 1/2 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
- 1/2 TBSP Pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Chopped walnuts for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with baking non-stick spray. Place an 8 inch parchment circle on the bottom of the pans and spray again.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Keep stirring the butter until it starts to foam and the milk deposits on the bottom separate. Stir until the butter starts to brown and take off heat. Pour in a glass measuring cup. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
- While waiting, shred the carrots. Make sure they are washed and peeled first. This takes quite a few carrots. Then, in a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the browned butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix until smooth. Add in the carrots and mix until combined. Add in eggs and whisk until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients. Fold it into the wet ingredients. Fold until combined.
- Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Use a kitchen scale to get an even amount of batter in each pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let the cakes cool completely before decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Set the butter on the counter for 30 minutes. This will get it slightly cold. While waiting, sift the powdered sugar.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on high for 1 minute. Then, add in the butter and mix on high for 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl. It should be smooth and light.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Then, scrape the bowl. Add in heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until mixed together. Switch to high and beat for 2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to beat out the air bubbles.
- Place a small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating on. This will act as the glue to keep your cake in place.
- Place the 1st layer bottom side down. Place about 1 cup of frosting on the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth it evenly. Repeat with the second layer. Place the last layer of cake bottom side up.
- If there are any gaps between the filling or the cake, apply extra frosting. Then, use your cake scrapper to smooth. Freeze for 10 minutes to set the layers.
- Apply a light layer of frosting around the cake. For a semi-naked cake, It should be a light layer and peeps of the cake should be coming through. Then, apply a thick layer of frosting on top of the cake and top with toasted walnuts.