Billy Ray Cyrus' Carrot Cake

"Sitting around at Christmastime stuffing our faces full of carrot cake is part of our holiday tradition," says Billy Ray.
Decadent Slice of Carrot Cake

Decadent Slice of Carrot Cake

Decadent slice of carrot cake.

Photo by: iStockphoto.com/danp68/Daniel Padavona

iStockphoto.com/danp68/Daniel Padavona

Related To:

Cook Time: 30 min | Yield: 8-12 servings

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)

For the frosting:

  • 1 lb (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 lbs confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Next Up

Billy Dean's Pumpkin Cookies

"One of our best friends – her name is Willie -- grew up Amish," says Billy. "She makes these amazing pumpkin cookies. It's an Amish specialty, and nobody does it better than her!"

Billy Currington's Peanut Butter Cookies

"One of my favorite memories was my Grandmother making peanut butter cookies," says Billy. "She would cut them into shapes. Didn't matter what they looked like, they were the best!"

Hillary Scott's Sour Cream Pound Cake

"Every Thanksgiving & Christmas, my grandmother is the queen of Sour Cream Pound Cake," says Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. "It's so good with coffee. It probably weighs 10 pounds. It's amazing, it's my favorite thing."

Craig Campbell's Chocolate Dump Cake

Craig's mother always made this cake – and this chocolate lover never turned it down! Here's the recipe so you can make it too.

Easton Corbin' Classic Coconut Cake

Easton's grandma makes the best coconut cake he's ever had. She's can't to pass the exact recipe down because she doesn't measure the ingredients, but here's our best shot!

Lauren Alaina's Pecan Pie

Lauren says she loves her Nana's pecan pie — even though she admits to picking off the nuts and just eating the pie! Here's a recipe, nuts and all.

Ashton Shepherd's Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

The challenge with these cookies? "You have to put them on wax paper and let them dry," says Ashton, "which is really hard because you usually eat them before they get dry."

Kimberly Schlapman's Haystacks

Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town's favorite holiday recipe is haystacks. Her mother's best friend makes them and no holiday season is complete without the "glorious concoction."

Steve Azar's Thumbprint Cookies

One of Steve's favorite cookies to bake has his personal touch — a thumbprint — in each one. "I do a dozen of them at a time," he says. "And then I have to go run."

Troy Gentry's Seven Layer Bars

Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry has visions of Seven Layer Bars dancing in his head. Check out this recipe and the rest of Great American Country's recipes from other stars.

On TV

Carnival Eats

6:30am | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Carnival Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Carnival Eats

9:30am | 8:30c

Carnival Eats

10am | 9c

Carnival Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Carnival Eats

11am | 10c

Carnival Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12pm | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1pm | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Carnival Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Carnival Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flea Market Flip

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flea Market Flip

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flea Market Flip

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flea Market Flip

8pm | 7c

Flea Market Flip

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30pm | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30pm | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flea Market Flip

12:30am | 11:30c

Flea Market Flip

1:30am | 12:30c

Flea Market Flip

2:30am | 1:30c

Flea Market Flip

3:30am | 2:30c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.