This caramel carrot bundt cake with caramel cream cheese glaze is a new twist on the classic carrot cake that’s moist with a tasty combination of carrots, cinnamon and a hint of caramel.
It’s a homemade easy carrot bundt cake you’ll want to make over and over. The great thing about this cake is that even though this cake is from scratch, it’s easy to put together partly because it’s baked in a bundt pan.
Bundt cakes are so convenient to use as it’s just one pan and you don’t have to worry about decorating the cake afterward.
Carrot cake is such a comforting food. It’s a classic, but it’s also fun to change things up a bit and make things interesting, which is where the addition of caramel comes into play.
I think the rich taste of the caramel works really well with the spiciness of the carrot cake, which in this case, is a little like a pound cake. There’s even a bit of caramel added to the classic cream cheese topping.
Hey there! Before you scroll, there’s lot’s of important stuff in the post!…including the FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!
Now let’s talk a little about the ingredients that are in this recipe. (The list of all ingredients are in the recipe card below.)
Shredded carrots: This cake calls for shredded carrots and you’ll want to shred them yourself and thinly. If you buy the pre-shredded carrots, those can be too thick and coarse.
Cinnamon: Don’t omit the cinnamon because that in combination with the carrots are what gives this cake that classic carrot cake taste.
Caramel Chips: These are really good added to the cake. It gives it a hint of caramel, so it ends up being different than your usual carrot cake. You’ll also add a bit to the cream cheese glaze to give it a hint of caramel flavor.
Cream cheese: The glaze for this cake calls for cream cheese. It gives it a little tartness and cream cheese goes really well with carrot cake.
Mixing Method Notes:
Let’s talk a little about the mixing method. (The exact instructions are in the recipe card below.)
The mixing method for this cake is super easy. Essentially you’ll just add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir, then add in the carrots and caramel bits, then mix. Super simple and you don’t even need a mixer for the cake.
You’ll then pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake.
While it’s baking, you can make the glaze and add it to the cake once it’s cooled completely.
Tips & FAQs:
Yes, it does. Just like apple cakes have apples, pumpkin cake has pumpkin and zucchini cake has zucchini, carrot cake does contain shredded carrots.
I know it’s hard for some to imagine putting carrots in a cake and it coming out actually tasting good. I’m sure you’ve tasted carrot cake before, but if you haven’t…trust me…it’s really good.
Make sure to grease and flour the bundt pan very well as this cake is moist and will stick to the pan if it’s not well prepared.
Grate or shred your own carrots. The pre-shredded kind you get at the store can sometimes be too thick. You don’t want thick pieces of carrot in your carrot cake.
You can use an old-fashioned handheld grater or you can use a food processor.
No, but that’s part of the flavor of this cake. It’s meant to be a caramel carrot cake and the caramel bits help to add some flavor and sweetness to it.
This is so the caramel chips don’t sink to the bottom of the pan while your cake is baking.
No, you don’t want to do that as baking powder and baking soda are two different things and can’t be subbed equally for each other.
If you want more information about what they do, see this post: Baking Powder vs Baking Soda
Yes, this cake can be made ahead of time. Once baked, cover it well and store in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.
To freeze, wrap the unfrosted cooled cake in plastic wrap, then in foil and place in the freezer for up to one month. To thaw, set the cake out at room temperature and leave the wrappings on while the cake thaws. Once it’s defrosted, remove the wrappings and add glaze the cake.
Because this cake includes a glaze with cream cheese, it will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover it well so that it doesn’t dry out and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.
I have not tried this cake recipe as a layer cake. Theoretically, it should probably work just fine baked in two, 8 inch round cake pans although the baking time will probably need to be shortened.
Just know that this cake is more of a pound cake-like consistency and therefore would perhaps be a little more dense than a fluffy layer cake when baked in layer cake pans.
If you want a super yummy layer carrot cake without caramel, see this post: Scratch Carrot Cake with Pineapple
This cake is best served at room temperature however since it needs to be stored in the refrigerator, set the cake out about 20-30 minutes before serving or warm up a slice in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Feel free to add walnuts or pecans or even raisins to the cake batter.
This cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted into the top comes out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean.
This cake is perfect for spring or Easter, but you can also make this any time you have a craving for carrot cake.
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Ok, let’s get to the recipe!
Note About Recipe Measurements: I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are more familiar with and I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated when baking. For metric/weight measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card below. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s just a best guess. I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results, since I test recipes using volume measurements.
Caramel Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups shredded carrots (thinly shredded carrots – see FAQ section in the post)
- 1 ½ cups chopped caramel chips (I measured one cup, then chopped) (Buy one package of caramel baking chips, the rest will be for the glaze)
Caramel Cream Cheese Glaze
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 package)
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk (or cream) (may use an additional tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup caramel chips, melted and cooled (just use the amount that's leftover in the bag from making the cake)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan very well.
- Shred enough carrots to make 2 ½ cups worth and set aside. Shred the carrots thinly.
- Take 1 to 1 ½ cups of the caramel chips and pulse in a food processor to break them up a bit. If you don’t have a food processor, just put them into a large ziplock bag, seal it, and use a rolling pin to break them up. (You need the chips smaller, so they don’t sink to the bottom when baking and to distribute the caramel taste throughout the cake better. Set the caramel bits aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix with a whisk well.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a whisk or wooden spoon.
- Add in the carrots and chopped caramel chips and stir.
- Pour into greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 55 minutes. A tootphick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean, but no raw batter.
- Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Release from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.
For the glaze:
- Microwave ½ a cup of caramel chips plus 1 tablespoon of milk for no more than about 30 seconds. (Just use what’s leftover from the bag. ) Add another tablespoon of milk and mix well. Keep mixing until it’s smooth. Set aside to cool off a bit.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and cream cheese well with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and two tablespoons of milk. Mix on medium speed until imcorporated, then on medium-high until smooth.
- Add the melted caramel chips and mix well on medium-high. Check the consistency. If the glaze is too thick, add in milk by teaspoonful and mix after each adtion dountil desired consistency is reached. Be careful not to add too much milk or the glaze will run off the cake and pool around the bottom.
- Once the cake has cooled, spoon on the glaze, or use a piping bag to drizzle it on.
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