Single-Layer Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A single layer cake feels right for a dinner party where a sky-high layered number would just be too much. This is also a perfectly acceptable thing to make on a Sunday for yourself. You can make this ahead of time and serve cold or room temperature.
Serves: 10
For the cake:
  • Softened butter, for the pan
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots (from about 7 medium carrots)
For the icing:
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan with removable sides. Cut out a circle of parchment and place it in the bottom. Butter that too.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until everything's completely incorporated, using a spatula--no need for the electric mixer. Pour the dry ingredients over the wet and fold together until just combined. Fold in the carrots. Pour into the prepared pan and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack in the pan for about 10 minutes, then loosen the cake from the pan and invert the whole rack onto a plate. Remove the bottom part of the pan and peel off the parchment, then invert the cake back onto the rack and let it cool completely.
Make the icing:
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until it's nearly melted but you can still see some of the chocolate chips. Remove from the heat and stir to finish melting. Set aside until the chocolate has cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla in a food processor (a mini one is fine) and pulse until smooth. When the chocolate is cool, scrape that in and process again until evenly distributed. Keep the icing at room temp until you use it.
  3. When the cake has cooled, ice the whole top.
Recipe by Big Girls Small Kitchen at