These carrot cake doughnuts have all the flavor of your favorite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but in doughnut form. Baked instead of fried, you’ll love how easy they are to make!
I absolutely love carrot cake. The spices… the dense, super moist cake crumb…. the cream cheese frosting. It’s probably one of the most flavorful cakes you can make. And although I was sceptical of any dessert with vegetables for the majority of my childhood – I’m now a big carrot cake believer. (Cue the Journey)
So, clearly it was time to make carrot cake doughnuts. Cause that’s what I do with all my favorite kinds of cake.
Now today’s carrot cake doughnuts have all the flavor of your favorite carrot cake recipe, are baked instead of fried, topped with cream cheese glaze, and made without an electric mixer. The whole recipe comes together in way less time than it takes to make a carrot cake – and if you’re like me, you can always a doughnut for breakfast.
Now to make our baked carrot cake doughnuts, it’s very straight forward. First our dry ingredients are whisked together (flour, spices & baking soda). Then the oil, sugars, egg, vanilla & sour cream are mixed together. And finally, we mix our dry ingredients into the oil mixture and the shredded carrots are stirred in.
Then it’s time to bake. For today’s recipe we’re using a doughnut pan. It’s seriously the easiest way to make doughnuts, and there’s no deep frying. You can buy a doughnut pan for under $10, but if you don’t have one these can be baked in a muffin pan instead.
After the doughnuts are done baking, it’s time for the cream cheese glaze (probably my favorite part). It’s tangy, it’s creamy & it’s the perfect compliment to that delicious carrot cake flavor. I decorated my carrot cake doughnuts with chopped pecans, but walnuts would work too.
I love that these baked carrot cake doughnuts have all the deliciousness of your favorite carrot cake recipe, but take way less time AND I can eat them for breakfast. They have that perfect cake doughnut texture, and seriously – if you’ve never made baked doughnuts before – you definitely need to give them a try.
Carrot Cake Doughnuts
For the Carrot Cake Doughnuts
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ¾ cup finely grated carrots
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon cream
Make the Doughnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and spray a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray. You'll end up with 6-8 doughnuts, so you may need to grease 2 pans or make the doughnuts in 2 batches.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Then in a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and sour cream.
- Stir the flour mixture into the oil mixture using a spoon or rubber spatula, then stir in the shredded carrots. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Then spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pan filling each cavity about two thirds full, or pipe the batter into each cavity using a piping bag or ziploc bag with the bottom corner cut off. You'll end up with 6-8 doughnuts.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until if you gently touch a doughnut with your finger it's slightly springy. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove the doughnuts from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
Make the Cream Cheese Glaze
- As the doughnuts are baking or cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer until soft. Then carefully beat in the powdered sugar and the cream as necessary. You may need to add a little extra powdered sugar or a little extra cream as necessary.
- Frost the top of each doughnut using a piping bag or a flat edge knife. Then sprinkle walnuts on top of each.