Carrot Graham Layer Cake

Recipe By: Christina Tosi

Carrot Graham Layer Cake

There are two types of people in this world: those who only eat Carrot Cake during Easter and those who eat Carrot Cake ALL year long. Whatever the case, Milk Bar’s version of this nostalgic icon is perfect for any situation.

This recipe pulls together Carrot Cake’s beloved flavors–cinnamon spice, rich carrot, and velvety cream. But we brush each cake round with milk, layer it with smooth liquid cheesecake, milk crumb, and top it with graham (yes, graham) frosting.

Pre-shredded carrots are A-OK when you’re in a pinch or don’t feel like the alternating arm-work. But you know those beautiful purple, yellow, and orange carrots that catch your eye at the farmer’s market? Those make for Carrot Cake flavor *goals*.


Makes 1 (6-inch) layer cake, 5 to 6 inches tall. Serves 6 to 8.

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Carrot Graham Layer Cake

Carrot Cake


Heat the oven to 350°F.


Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.


On low speed, stream in the oil. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous, with no streaks of fat. Don’t rush the process. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.


On very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.


Detach the paddle and remove the bowl from the mixer. Dump the shredded carrots into the bowl and, with a spatula, fold them into the batter.


Pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment, or just line the pan with a Silpat. using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan.


Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 25 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.


Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. If you’re in a pinch, cool in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry, it’s not cheating). The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge or wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 5 days.


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