Carrot cake is basically the unofficial baked good of springtime. It’s featured around tables at Easter as a festive and delicious dessert.
We all know you can’t have a carrot cake without cream cheese frosting, so we made it matcha! The rich, tangy, and sweet frosting is perfectly balanced with the grassy and earthy notes of the matcha. Paired with the fragrant spices and subtle carrot flavors of the cake, these flavors all melt together perfectly!
How big is this cake?
This recipe yields three 9-inch cakes for layering. However, the recipe can easily be halved to make a smaller two layer cake.
Should I grate my own carrots?
Yes! Grating your own carrots will result in a much moister cake. The pre-grated carrots tend to be dried out. Peel and wash the carrots, then use the largest surface of a box grater to grate them.
Can I add nuts to this recipe?
Of course! Chopped walnuts or pecans would be awesome in this matcha carrot cake. We suggest adding about 1- 1 ½ cups.
What kind of matcha should I use?
We recommend using our Culinary Grade matcha in the cream cheese frosting; the more bitter green tea note in the culinary grade pairs well with the sweetness and richness of the frosting!
Matcha Carrot Cake
For the carrot cake:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups butter, melted
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 cups grated carrots
For the matcha cream cheese frosting:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons Culinary Grade Matcha, sifted
- 3 (8-ounce) packages brick style cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the carrot cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray (and line bottoms with parchment paper if desired) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine butter, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, and vanilla; mix well. Add the grated carrots and mix until evenly distributed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet; fold in using a rubber spatula until just combined
- Pour the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans (tip: using a kitchen scale is the best way to ensure there is equal amounts of batter in each pan.) Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pans for about 25 minutes. Once cooled, remove from plans and place back on wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Matcha Cream cheese frosting:
- In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar; sift in matcha and combine. Set aside.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and mix until smooth and well combined with the cream cheese, about 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar/matcha mixture; mix until fully combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Assembling the cake:
- Level the tops of each cake with a cake leveler or a knife. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand; fill a piping bag with some of the frosting and pipe an even layer of frosting onto the top of the cake. Smooth into one even layer. Place the other cake on top and repeat. Top with the last cake, bottom side (the flattest side) facing up. Use remaining frosting to frost the top and the sides of the cake. Decorate with tiny carrots, Easter egg candies, or nuts, if desired.