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mini carrot cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting cut to reveal inside

Mini Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sloane
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 layer 6-inch cake 1x
  • Category: cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


This moist mini carrot cake recipe makes two 6-inch layers decorated with a swoon-worthy brown butter cream cheese frosting!



For the carrot cake:

  • 200g (1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 132g (2/3 cup) neutral oil
  • 213g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 66g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 250g (2 1/4 cup not packed) grated carrots (about 4-5)
  • 85g (1/2 cup) finely chopped pecans*

For the brown butter cream cheese frosting:

  • 227g (1 cup) brown butter (solid, room temp)*
  • 12 oz (1 1/2 blocks) cream cheese (cold)
  • 282-340g (2 1/2 - 3 cups) powdered sugar


For the carrot cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugars until fully combined.
  4. Add in the vanilla and eggs, fully incorporating each before adding the next.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
  6. Then, fold in the grated carrots and pecans.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake the cakes for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 min, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

For the brown butter cream cheese frosting:

  1. Start by browning enough butter to account for water evaporation. You'll need 227g of brown butter, so start with at least 270g.
  2. To brown the butter, in a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat for several minutes, swirling to even out the color. The butter will be ready once the fat solids have separated and darkened, and the butter is an even medium amber color.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to solidify again.
  4. Once the brown butter is solid, yet soft, stir to mix in all of the browned bits that have settled at the bottom.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and brown butter on high speed until smooth.
  6. Slowly add the powdered sugar in and beat until fully combined.
  7. Continue beating on low speed until no more lumps remain and the frosting is smooth.

For assembly:

  1. Secure the first cake layer on the cake stand with a small amount of frosting on the bottom. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to measure out the frosting for each layer. I used a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and put 3 scoops of frosting on each layer.
  2. Place the second cake layer on top and spread 2, 3 tablespoons of buttercream on top.
  3. Spread a thin layer of frosting all around the outside of the cake for a semi-naked look.*
  4. Then, decorate the cake with the remaining frosting as desired. I used a star Ateco 865 for the top decoration and finished with chopped pecans.


  • If adding pecans, be sure to chop them very finely. Big pieces will make it a little difficult to cut the cake.
  • For the brown butter, start with at least 270g of unsalted butter.
  • Be sure to account for the time of waiting for the brown butter to re-solidify. I recommend making it the day before and chilling it in the fridge overnight.
  • The frosting recipe does make enough if you'd like to decorate the cake with a thicker layer of frosting on the sides.
  • You can make the cake layers the day before (or even earlier), then freeze them overnight, and decorate the next day. This allows you to skip the crumb coat and makes it so much easier to frost. Just leave the cake out for a couple hours at room temperature before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 632
  • Sugar: 57.8 g
  • Sodium: 343.6 mg
  • Fat: 32.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 81.9 g
  • Protein: 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.6 mg

Keywords: mini carrot cake, brown butter cream cheese frosting, small carrot cake recipe, small batch carrot cake, 6 inch carrot cake recipe