This mini carrot cake is the perfect cake for Easter for two or a small party! This is a moist, spiced, 6-inch three layer carrot cake. It is filled with cream cheese frosting and decorated with chopped walnuts.
If you need a carrot cake for spring, a special occasion, or a birthday celebration this is for you.
This is my favorite carrot cake recipe! You have to try it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Mini 6-inch cake layers- This is a mini cake using three 6-inch cake pans.
- Carrot cake- The carrot cake layers are super soft and moist and full of spices.
- Decadent Cream cheese frosting- This cream cheese buttercream goes perfectly with this cake.
- Easy to make- This cake is easy to make and you can make the cake layers with no mixer!
Here are some notes on the ingredients for this recipe. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Oil- You can use canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar. You can use dark brown sugar.
- Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Carrots- Make sure to freshly grate the carrots into small pieces. Don't use pre shredded carrots because they are hard and won't provide the moisture.
- Eggs- Pull the large egg out 2 hours before baking.
- Spices- Use ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. This cake will be full of flavor!
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking, it needs to be room temperature.
- Unsalted butter- Slightly cold butter is the perfect consistency to decorate the cake with.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure to sift the powdered sugar to avoid a gritty frosting.
Step By Step Directions- Cake Layers
Here is how to make and bake this mini carrot cake recipe.
STEP 1: Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift the all-purpose flour to prevent any dry lumps getting in the batter. Then, add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and warm spices.
STEP 2: Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, sour cream, shredded carrot, and eggs.
TIP: The carrots needed to be finely shredded like the picture below. Use a small setting on a grater and compact the shredded carrots in the measuring cup.
STEP 3: Mix everything together. Pour the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Whisk until combined.
STEP 4: Pour the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into three 6-inch cake pans.
STEP 5: Bake the cake. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack (wire rack).
Step By Step Directions- Cream Cheese Frosting
STEP 1: Beat the butter and cream cheese. Beat these on high speed in a large mixing bowl. This recipe uses a stand mixer or a hand mixer (electric mixer).
STEP 2: Add in powdered sugar. Add this in slowly. It will be very thick.
STEP 3: Add the wet ingredients. Next, add in the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream. Beat the frosting until light and creamy.
Assembling The Cake Tips
- Pipe a small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating on, this will keep the cake in place.
- Spread ¾ cup of frosting on the first cake layer. Use a small offset spatula. Repeat with the second cake layer.
- Flip the last cake layer upside down so the bottom is facing up. This will give the flattest layer for the top of the cake.
- Frost the sides of the cake in a light a layer of frosting. Freeze for 15 minutes to lock the crumbs in place. This will be the crumb cake layer.
- Frost the rest of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Use a piping bag to top the cake with extra decoration.
Using oil in this cake, allow it to stay moist for days. If you really want some butter flavor, do half oil and half melted butter.
Yes you can! This will make 12 carrot cupcakes. Bake for the same amount of time.
This recipe will fit a 8X8 inch square baking pan, 9X9 inch square baking pan, two 8-inch cake pans, 1 9-inch cake pan.
Storing and Freezing
Store this mini carrot cake in a airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
You can freeze the cake in individual cake layers. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before enjoying.
The cake layers can be frozen ahead of time. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before decorating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Mini Carrot Cake
- 1 ⅔ cup All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup Oil Use canola oil or vegetable oil.
- ½ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Grated carrots freshly grated. Don't use pre shredded.
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 4 ½ cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ cup Heavy cream
- Chopped walnuts for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 6-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottoms with a 6-inch parchment paper circles. Spray again.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour. Add in baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Shred the carrots using small hole on a cheese grater. It should be finely shredded. Compact the carrots in a measuring cup.1 ⅔ cup All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, ½ teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- In a separate large bowl, add oil, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, sour cream, shredded carrots, and eggs. Use a whisk and mix until combined.½ cup Oil, ½ cup Brown sugar, ½ cup White granulated sugar, ½ cup Sour cream, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 1 cup Grated carrots, 2 Large eggs
- Pour in the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Pour the batter in three cake pans evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pull the butter out on the counter for 30 minutes. This will let it get it slightly cold. Sift the powdered sugar while you wait.1 cup Unsalted butter, 4 ½ cups Powdered sugar
- Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 3 minutes. It will be very fluffy. Scrape the bowl and slowly add in the powdered sugar. It will be thick.6 oz Cream cheese
- Add in vanilla, salt, and heavy cream. Mix on low speed until combined. Switch to high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy.1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon Salt, ⅛ cup Heavy cream
Assembling the Cake
- Use a serrated knife to even out the cake layers if there is a dome on top. Freeze the cake layers for 15 minutes. Cold cakes are easier to decorate with.
- Place the first layer down and spread ¾ cup of frosting over the cake. Repeat with the second and third layer.
- Frost the cake in a light layer of frosting. Freeze for 15 minutes to lock the cake crumbs in place.
- Frost the rest of the cake. Decorate the cake with extra piping on top and chopped walnuts.Chopped walnuts