Have you ever been struck by an absolutely GENIUS idea then discovered that you weren't the first [or even the tenth] person to think of it? That kind of happened to me with this naked bourbon carrot cake. Carrot cake is one of my favorite kinds of cake (the others are cheesecake and tres leches) and I wanted to do boozy version. "What better way than to soak the raisins in bourbon?" I thought. "I've never heard of this before. I'm so smart!" I thought. The lie-detector test determined that was a lie. Well, I am smart but someone out there has definitely heard of this method before. 🙂 A quick chat with my good girlfriend, Google, yielded several bourbon carrot cake recipes. I was slightly disheartened until I clicked and read through the recipes. None of them were quite what I had envisioned so I felt relieved and came to the conclusion that I'm neither a subliminal plagiarist nor a basic!
I like my carrot cake all the way--deluxe, if you will. It should toe the line between a spice cake and a fruit cake. Cream cheese frosting is always a given but walnuts, pineapple, shaved carrots, and raisins aren't as common for some reason, especially among the bourbon-infused crowd. One thing I don't like to find in my carrot cake is coconut. I don't get it. I feel like the other mix-ins stop talking when coconut joins the batter and text each other "Who TF invited coconut?!" It's just not right, y'all. I don't find many carrot cakes out there with everything I want in them, which was another source of motivation to create, in my opinion, the very best version. Of course, this cake can be made friendly for those who don't consume alcohol and it will still be epic!
If you do opt to use the bourbon-infused raisins, (which are so much fun, btw) you'll need to soak them ahead of time. One day is totally enough time so don't worry! If you read about my birthday cake, (which is a salted caramel buttercream dream!) then you know I prefer making naked cakes because they're...easier. No need to worry about getting the frosting ratio perfect throughout or fussing with a crumb coat. I'm not against traditionally-frosted cakes at all. It just comes down to time and effort. If I'm making a cake for myself, it's gonna be naked but even if I'm serving it to others, I've never gotten any complaints about it not being perfectly frosted! This naked bourbon carrot cake is an anytime favorite but will definitely grace our holiday table. Whether or not this carrot cake is your speed, I definitely encourage you to check it out.
What do you like (or hate) to have in your carrot cake? Let me know below. Thanks for reading!
Photography by: Joshua Farris | Makeup by: Bella by Ashley Monique
Naked Bourbon Carrot Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup Chopped Pecans optional, but encouraged for garnish
- ½ cup bourbon I used Jim Beam Black Label
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup butter melted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large carrots shaved or shredded
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup crushed pineapple drained
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add raisins and golden raisins to a sealable glass container, such as a mason jar, and add enough bourbon to cover them (about ½ cup). Close tightly and set aside for at least 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sea salt to a bowl and whisk together.
- In another bowl, mix sugars, vanilla, eggs, butter, and crushed pineapple.
- Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins to dry ingredients then mix together. Add wet to dry and mix, adding any extra bourbon from the raisins.
- Divide batter between two greased round pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.
- While the cakes bake, mix together frosting ingredients by hand or with a beater and set aside.
- Cool cakes completely then frost. Garnish with chopped pecans, if desired.
Carrot cake is my all time favorite cake. Usually I go for the cream cheese frosting and completely cover the cake. I like the way your frosting is only on the top. Still looks great and with less hassle. Must try this out.
I love carrot cake!...and bourbon:-D
Brandy Burke says
oh you have got to be kidding me this looks fanflippintastic! I love carrot cake and my daughter (20, college student) has learned to make one from scratch for me, but we may need to up the game with this one!
Jasmine S. says
That happens to me all the time!! But this all sounds pretty original to me! 🙂 Looks amazing, Jazz!! Great idea to soak the raisins in bourbon.
Not only does that sound like it would be incredibly delicious, but it looks so pretty! I am a huge fan of naked cakes.
I love carrot cake....and equally, I love bourbon. This may be heaven for me <3
-Clarissa @ The View From Here
Tiffany | Arrows & Awe says
yumm!! Carrot cake is one of my faves. this looks delish!
Tiffany | http://www.arrowsandawe.com
I would say allspice is my favorite thing to put in carrot cake, but bourbon may take the cake. If you know what I mean. 🙂
Loved this recipe!! Left out the raisins since my family isn’t big fans and instead with the bourbon directly into the cake and then drizzled more on top as soon as it came out of the oven (because why not, the boozier the better!) It came out delicious and will definitely be adding this recipe to my box of recipes!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this cake--great idea to drizzle more bourbon on top!
Courtney Connolly says
Ooh that looks delicious! I loved the taste of bourbon in baked goods, it is such so rich!
La Belle Sirene
I always think that I am so original or have original ideas and then I like google it and it shows that I'm not.
I think this idea is glorious and it looks delicious though!
Jen Smith says
Jazz, this is my dream cake! Definitely pinned this!
Yay! I hope you love it!
Jacquelyn Dixon says
I just want to say, I think we should be BFFs... I know that is super web-stalker, crazy speak, BUT.... The moment I noticed your a Jesus lover, who writes "Who TF invited coconut?" I knew in my bones it was meant to be... Just sayin'
Lol, we should totally be friends then! Thank you for reading!