Carrot cake will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first cake recipe I ever developed to be my own. I made it for Delaney’s first birthday that we celebrated together. And it became so popular within our group of friends that people would request that I make it. And, then when I had my bake shop it was on our menu, and now that recipe is in my book The Mountain Baker.
But, I have since made so many other carrot cake recipes that I also love. A few of my other favorites are my Brown Sugar Carrot Cupcakes, Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, and my Frosted Carrot Loaf Cake. Carrot cake has also become a favorite of my good friend Kimmy, and it’s usually what I make for every every year on her birthday.
We celebrated her birthday a couple days ago, and I knew she was going to request carrot cake. However, I wanted to make something a little different, so I thought of this Orange Carrot Ginger Cake while on the treadmill (because, duh, don’t you think of desserts while running on the treadmill?). Kimmy loves orange, as my Orange Creamsicle Cake Balls are a favorite of hers, which is a recipe I used to make often (I’ll have to share that recipe soon). And I had recently given her some of my Carrot Cake Baked Donuts, which she also loved, and those had a cream cheese icing on them.
So, I combined all of these things together and added some ginger because we all love ginger! And this cake was born. It really surprised me even more so than I thought it would, it is that good! Even Delaney, who doesn’t usually care for orange flavored things wanted to eat more of this cake. So, if you are looking for a light cake, that has less sugar (this has half the sugar of my traditional carrot cake), and is amazing – then try my Orange Ginger Carrot Cake recipe.
Tips for Making the Best Orange Ginger Carrot Cake
• I use 6-inch cake pans for this cake. But, if you double the recipe, you can use 9-inch pans if you have a larger party. I actually should have made a 9-inch because this cake was a huge hit at the party and people wanted more! If you do make a 9-inch, be sure to bake your cakes a little longer about 3 to 6 minutes, and make sure to test that they are done.
• I use a fine grater for the carrots. I weigh the carrots whole (7 ounces) and then grate them from there, it doesn’t have to be exactly 7 ounces of grated carrots.
• I also use a fine grater for the orange zest as well, you don’t have to have a zester as a fine grater is basically the same thing.
• I use organic vanilla yogurt in this recipe, but if you only have plain yogurt that will also work!
• My favorite organic orange flavor is from Frontier Co-Op. They have the best flavor here, in my opinion! If you don’t have this, you can use a little orange juice instead, but no more than 1 teaspoon as it will make the frosting too thin, and that’s not good for a layer cake.
• I use Ateco tip #827 for this cake. You can also use Ateco tip #846 as that is also very similar. Any large open star tip will look just like this. And, if you don’t have a piping tip, you can use just a bag as well, or you can even just slather frosting on the cake with a spatula. This is an easy cake to frost!
• If you want to cover the entire cake, you may also do that as well, it doesn’t have to be frosted naked. I just think it looks so pretty this way.
• I use fresh orange slices on top for decoration. These are completely optional, and you can leave them off if you prefer.
• Make sure to store this cake in the fridge as the frosting has cream cheese in it. Always store cake in a cake dome or an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out. If you do have it in the fridge, you can remove it an hour or two before serving so it comes to room temperature.
• Make sure to watch my reel on Instagram to see the entire process!
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why ou should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Orange Ginger Carrot Cake
Makes three layer 6-inch cake
7 ounces organic carrots, grated
Zest of 1 organic orange
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 organic large eggs
1/4 cup organic vanilla yogurt
191 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon organic ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon
226 grams (1 cup) organic salted butter, softened
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon organic orange flavor
organic orange slices (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the carrots, orange zest, cane sugar, canola oil, eggs, yogurt, all purpose flour, baking powder, ginger, sea salt, and cinnamon in that order. Mix on low until a batter forms.
Transfer to the prepared cake pans, about 250 grams each, and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the cake pans.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and orange flavor. Mix on low to combine, then increase speed to high and mix for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag with Ateco tip #827.
Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Pipe a spiral, starting at the outer edge and working your way in, to cover the cake layer with frosting completely. Top with the second cake layer, repeat this process with the third layer. Then spiral again on the top to finish the cake. Top with orange slices (optional).
Store in a cake dome in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Gluten Fee — Replace the all purpose flour with 205 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.