High Altitude Carrot Cake Recipe
High Altitude Baking
If you live at high altitude, you have most likely struggled with baking. Cakes often turn out dry or, even worse, rise and collapse or sink in the middle. Since carrot cakes are moist, they are a perfect choice for high altitude baking.
This cake recipe has been tested at 9,000 feet. If you are baking at a lower altitude, try adding 1/8 teaspoonful of leavening per 1,000 feet.
This cake is easy to make and sure to please your family and friends. It will make a large sheet cake, 2 two-layer cakes or 24 cupcakes, perfect for a crowd. And don't forget that carrot cake freezes well! We have also included a recipe for easy cream cheese frosting that's an ideal complement for this carrot cake. Enjoy!
- Measure carrots by loosely (not tightly) packing them in the measuring cup.
- Squeeze extra moisture from pineapple and grated carrots.
- Grate carrots on fine grate for cake with a tender crumb. Use larger grate for more texture.
- You can use either canned of fresh pineapple. If using fresh pineapple, chop finely and squeeze out extra moisture.
- If you enjoy nuts, try toasting them for texture and sprinkling them over the top of the frosting. This adds visual appeal and allows those who don't enjoy nuts to scrape them off the top.
High Altitude Carrot Cake
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sour milk, (1 Tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups white or raw sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, squeezed dry
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda*
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder*
*If baking at sea level, increase to 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls each of baking powder and baking soda.
- Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan or line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour milk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Beat well.
- In another medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Combine.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Fold in pineapple and grated carrot.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Begin checking cake for doneness at 50 minutes. When a toothpick tests clean, cake can be removed from oven.
- Cool completely before frosting.
Add Any of These Add-ins With the Grated Carrots and Pineapple:
pecans or walnuts,
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks (200 grams) salted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extracts
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 3 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
- In a medium bowl, whip cream cheese and butter until creamy. Use either a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Add vanilla and milk. Whip until smooth.
- Gradually whip in powdered sugar until frosting is stiff enough to spread.
Why Carrot Cakes Should Be Oil-Based:
Although carrot cake can be butter-based, the traditional version is oil-based. This is because the cakes are traditionally frosted with a cream cheese icing that should be refrigerated. Oil-based cakes don't harden when stored in the refrigerator, which means they don't have to be returned to room temperature before eating.