A Taste of Sunshine: Olive Oil Carrot Cake with Orange and Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

In the realm of desserts, carrot cake holds a special place, cherished for its moist crumb, subtle sweetness, and earthy flavors. But what if we told you there’s a twist that elevates this beloved classic to a whole new level? Enter the olive oil carrot cake with orange and ginger cream cheese frosting – a masterpiece that combines the richness of olive oil, the zestiness of orange, and the warmth of ginger to create a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds.

At first glance, the mention of olive oil in a cake might raise eyebrows, but fear not. Olive oil brings a unique depth and silkiness to the cake, ensuring a moist and tender crumb that melts in your mouth with every bite. Its subtle fruitiness complements the sweetness of the carrots, while also infusing the cake with a delicate aroma that hints at the Mediterranean sunshine.

The star of this show, however, is the marriage of orange and ginger in the cream cheese frosting. Imagine the bright, citrusy notes of freshly squeezed orange juice mingling with the warm, spicy kick of ginger – it’s a flavor combination that’s both refreshing and invigorating. When paired with the tangy creaminess of the cream cheese, it creates a frosting that’s not only decadent but also irresistibly aromatic.

But let’s not forget the unsung hero of this ensemble – the carrots. Beyond adding a pop of vibrant color to the cake, carrots lend a natural sweetness and moisture that is essential to its texture. Plus, they bring a dose of nutrients and fiber, making you feel a little less guilty about indulging in a cupcake (or two).

Now, let’s delve into the process of creating this culinary masterpiece. The recipe begins by grating fresh carrots, infusing the kitchen with their sweet aroma. These are then folded into a batter enriched with olive oil, eggs, flour, and a hint cinnamon. As the cupcakes bake, the scent of spices fills the air.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, it’s time to slather on the frosting – a luscious blend of cream cheese, powdered sugar, freshly grated ginger, and fresh orange zest. The frosting is whipped to airy perfection, making it light enough to complement the richness of the cake without overwhelming it.

The final touch? A sprinkling of fresh basil. It adds a lovely touch of freshness And there you have it – a piece of heaven on a plate, ready to be savored and shared with loved ones.

In conclusion, the olive oil carrot cake with orange and ginger cream cheese frosting is more than just a dessert – it’s a celebration of flavors, a testament to the artistry of baking, and a reminder of the simple joys that good food can bring. So why not treat yourself to a slice and experience a taste of sunshine in every bite?

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Olive Oil Carrot Cake with Orange and Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5-6 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Fresh basil for topping, optional

Ginger Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat Oven: 350
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside
  • Using the smallest holes (less than 1/4-inch in diameter) of a box grater or food processor, grate the carrots to yield 1 3/4 cups
  • Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, olive oil, butter, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the carrot mixture until just combined
  • Fill each paper liner with batter; filling to the top
  • This will make 12-14 cupcakes
  • Bake 20-25 minutes
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes
  • Remove to cooling rack to cool completely
  • For the frosting, in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until fluffy; about 2 minutes
  • Add the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar; beat until combined and fluffy;
  • about 2 minutes
  • Add the orange zest, ginger and salt; beat 5 minutes
Author: Maria Provenzano