Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe

The great thing about this twist on the Classic Carrot Cake Recipe (besides the taste, of course), is its versatility. Whether you prefer a sheet cake to a layer, bundt, or even cupcakes this recipe is meant to satisfy all. If you just aren't that adventurous and prefer a classic carrot cake, without the twist, you can remove the ginger (ground and crystallized) and orange zest in steps 1 and 2 below and increase the cinnamon to 1 ¼ teaspoons. However, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Cream cheese frosting for carrot cake is a must but the calories that comes with it, not so much. The frosting for carrot cake shared in this post does not require the use of cream cheese. Classic example of More Taste, Less Filling :)

Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe

Recipe for Carrot Cake

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated*
½ cup crystallized ginger (this can be very expensive at the supermarket, so you may want to leave it out. You can generally get it online or a local candy shoppe for nearly 15x's cheaper).

*Use either a box grater or food processor shredding disk, do not use pre-shredded carrots, the result will be a crunchy cake.

Carrot Cake Frosting Ingredients

2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar (I actually use a natural sweetner, Madhava Agave Nectar )
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Baking Carrot Cake

1. With the oven rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat your cake pan (see note below on cake pans and corresponding baking times) with vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices ans salt, set aside.

2. Whisk eggs, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl until sugar is mostly dissolved and the mixture becomes frothy. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Add flour mixture from step 1 in small batches until totally incorporated (no remnants of flour should remain). Stir in the carrots and crystallized ginger.

3. Pour batter into the pan of your choice and smooth top. Bake according to chart below. When done, a wooden skewer inserted into the center of cake should come out clean with only a few crumbs. While cake is baking, mix sour cream topping* ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

4. Remove from oven and apply topping. Place cake back into 350 degree oven for 5 more minutes, allowing the topping to set. Cool in pan on counter for 2 hours.

Cake Pans and Baking Times
Sheet cake
: Bake 35~40 minutes.
Bundt cake : Bake for 55 minutes.
Cupcakes (makes 24): Bake for 30 minutes.

*Layered cake (two 8-inch pans): Bake for 25~30 minutes. For a layered cake, I recommend lining bottom of pan with parchment paper, this will ensure your cake does not stick. You will also need to prepare a frosting, rather than using the sour cream topping since it is not stiff enough to hold the cake layers together. Traditional recipes typically use a cream cheese frosting. Before frosting the cake you will need to first remove the parchment paper; run a paring knife along the sides of the pans and the invert cakes onto a rack or baking sheet, remove parchment paper, and invert again. Place first cake on serving platter and frost, add second cake to first and frost.

15 Responses to “Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe”

  1. Best recipes from around the web » Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe Says:

    […] A fellow blogger wrote a fantastic post today on “Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe”Here’s ONLY a quick extractGinger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe The great thing about this twist on the Classic Carrot Cake Recipe (besides the taste, of course), is its versatility. Whether you prefer a sheet cake to a layer, bundt, or even cupcakes this recipe is … […]

  2. Banana Bread Recipe | Chocolate Banana Bread Orange-Spice Banana Bread Says:

    […] to classic recipes. The use of orange extract and zest seem to be a common theme these days, my Ginger-Orange Carrot Cake Recipe is a prime example. I have always loved banana bread but am often frustrated that most contain […]

  3. Mark BoxshusNo Gravatar Says:

    Isn’t that “frosting” going to be like soup?

  4. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    @Mark – Not as long as you bake it off :)

  5. DJ Encyclopedia BrownNo Gravatar Says:

    That’s a good look! Ginger makes everything better. Thanks for the Twitter shout out.

  6. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    @DJ Encyclopedia Brown – Ginger does make every thing better! That’s what I’m screaming! :) I need to post some ginger cocktails!

  7. jale fikirciogluNo Gravatar Says:

    I like your cake beautiful

  8. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks Jale!

  9. normaNo Gravatar Says:

    wow must try this cake, always looking for new ideas as I have a bed and breakfast in France

  10. Fumi MatsubaraNo Gravatar Says:

    @norma Invite me over and I can come bake it for you, in person :)

  11. theraphyNo Gravatar Says:

    Do you guys have a recommendation section, i’d like to suggest some stuff

  12. Gretchen WilliamsNo Gravatar Says:

    @theraphy – No formal recommendation section, but feel free to leave us comments in any of the posts or contact us by sending email to ‘wasabibratwurst [at] gmail [dot] com. We would love to hear any recommendations that you have!

  13. CynthiaNo Gravatar Says:

    I believe this is the original carrot cake recipe in the original Cuisinart cookbook I had a long time ago. I lost that cookbook in too many residential moves. How delighted I was to find it here! Thank You!

  14. kekesNo Gravatar Says:

    I am going to assume the sour cream in the icing is cream cheese????

  15. adminNo Gravatar Says:


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