whisk + wander

Carrot Layer Cake

with sour cream frosting


Jes Lahay • March 10, 2019

 Sour cream is the new cream cheese. A fresh alternative to the ‘ol standby, sour cream frosting is a bit lighter, fluffier, and tangier. It’s packed with flavor for a next level carrot cake.



Top with Graham Crumb (recipe below)



1/4 Sheet pan
6” Ateco ring
Small offset spatula
Ateco cake turntable
Parchment paper sheets

*These may be affiliate links. I try to link to the most reliable source with the best price regardless of my affiliation.


Carrot layer Cake

Makes 1 6” layer cake (3 layers)

115g unsalted butter, softened
120g light brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
2 eggs
40g grapeseed oil
200g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
225g peeled and shredded carrots (2-4 medium sized carrots)
Non-stick cooking spray (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.

  2. Spray a quarter-sheet pan with non-stick spray and line it with parchment. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

  4. Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

  5. Cream butter and sugars on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add eggs, and mix on medium-high for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.

  7. On low speed, stream in the oil. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip for 4-6 minutes. Mixture should be nearly white, doubled in size and completely smooth and free of streaks.

  8. On very low speed, add dry ingredients. Mix for 45-60 seconds or just until the batter comes together and all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and remove from the mixer.

  9. With a spatula fold in the shredded carrots.

  10. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan.

  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

  12. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

  13. When cake is cool, invert the cake onto a piece of parchment. Remove the parchment from the bottom of the cake.

  14. Using a 6” cake ring, stamp out 2 full circles from the cake. These will be the top and bottom cake layers. Using the ring, cut two half circles. Use these half-circles and remaining “scrap” to make the middle layer.

original recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi

Sour Cream Frosting

Makes about 4 cups

205g unsalted butter, softened
400g confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
200g sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

  1. Combine butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

  2. Cream on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Periodically scrape down the bowl to incorporate well.

  3. With the mixer on low, add sour cream and lemon juice.

  4. Continue creaming until the puree is fully emulsified and the frosting is smooth and fluffy again.

  5. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and mix until the frosting is bright white, silky and shiny. It should hold medium soft peaks, like whipped cream.

  6. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you store it in the refrigerator, be sure to loosen it up before using, otherwise it will be impossible to spread. The easiest way to do this is by putting the frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beating it on medium speed for a few minutes.

original recipe from All about cake by Christina Tosi

Graham Crumb

Makes about 2 cups

190g graham cracker crumbs (crushed fine in a food processor)
20g milk powder
25g sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
55g heavy cream

  1. Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute.

  2. Whisk melted butter and cream together. Add to dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute until the mixture turns into small clusters. Add more butter as needed if mixture is too dry.

  3. Use, or eat, immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the refrigerator or freezer. NOTE: The crust will be easiest to form into shapes just after mixing.

original recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi