Cardamom Carrot Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream
I feel like every family has just one definitively good baker. It’s fine if everyone thinks they’re the best cook, and even a little exciting when that gets silently competitive. Like when I bring my green bean casserole to Thanksgiving dinner and nobody eats it even though I know it’s hands down the best side dish on the table, I get a little thrill out of the competitive fury that ignites. But baking is different. I’m certain that every family has one best baker—even if there are others who can bake, they’re newbs who pale in comparison to the one master baker. It’s just science.
I am 100% not that person for our family. That’s Beau. He’s been baking probably since before he could reach the countertop, which is not something I think I can recommend you let children do unsupervised, but he was just born a rebellious little baker boy I guess. He knows a whole lot about the chemistry and ratios involved in baking and can speak pretty candidly about the merits of certain flours and temperatures over others, and it really amazes me. And the thing about me and baking is that I tend to be more of an improvisor in the kitchen. I often don’t follow recipes exactly, and I like being a helicopter parent to whatever I’m making, flipping and stirring and tasting along the way. None of that really works in baking—you can really create a total flop if you don’t keep everything precise, and once it’s in the oven it’s kind of on its own. So I’ve been a little intimidated to get my hands dirty with it. I’m not completely baking-ignorant, but I’m trying to get more comfortable with it all, so I’m making my cute baking master Beau show me a few tips so that if I’m ever on Nailed It! I can pull a win. So we made carrot cake!
It’s a cardamom carrot cake with Earl Grey frosting. Wow. Beau originally shared a version of this recipe to the blog over four years ago and I remembered it being so insanely delicious that I wanted this to be my baking adventure debut. We changed it up a little bit for this go-round, using a pre-mixed gluten free baking flour instead of having to create our own blend, and we decided to go with a buttercream frosting instead of the original meringue. Haters will say we should’ve used cream cheese frosting because it’s carrot cake, but this just sounded really good and also at this point in our internet career we aren’t really offended by anything less than “I hate you, homos!” so joke’s on them!!!
Recipe below! If you make it, let us know in the comments or tag us on your IG photos of it!
Cardamom Carrot Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream
This Recipe makes Two 9” Round Cakes
Active time: ~2 HOURS, DOES NOT INCLUDE 1 HOUR OF COOLING BEFORE BEING FROSTED
Cardamom Carrot Cake
1 1/4 cups coconut oil, melted (plus more for greasing pans)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten free baking flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 GF Flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 cups (about 13 ounces) lightly packed shredded carrots
Earl Grey Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 (16oz) package powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional, but so good)
3 bags fine Earl Grey tea (about 3 teaspoons)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two 9” cake pans with a thin coat of coconut oil and line them with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, granulated sugar, and eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture for about two minutes until it lightens in color. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the egg mixture with the stand mixer set to low. Once the batter is fully combined, remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in shredded carrots by hand using a rubber spatula. Transfer mixture to cake pans and bake for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 325° F and bake and additional 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the buttercream, use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer) to beat the butter on medium-high speed until slightly fluffy, about two minutes. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low between additions until it’s all combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2 minutes. Add heavy cream, vanilla extract, orange extract if using, and tea. Mix on medium until fully incorporated, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Fill and frost your cakes whichever technique you prefer, but you can check out our guide to doing so right here :)
Number of Layers—we doubled this recipe and used three layers for the cake we photographed. Please note this recipe makes a two-layer cake on it’s own.
GF Flour—Gluten free flour blends are all different and can be tricky, and potentially be what makes your cake a star or a flop. We have not tried this recipe with any other flour blend then the one we have listed in our ingredients list, so we recommend you use that one for this recipe.