This mini carrot cake is super cute! A small batch brown butter carrot sheet cake is baked in an eighth sheet pan or a loaf pan for the perfect tiny carrot cake. It is topped with a small batch brown butter cream cheese frosting and is perfect for a tiny celebration or any time you need a tiny carrot cake!
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Mini Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake
Hi hi! Just popping in to share this recipe for this mini carrot sheet cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting. This recipe is super easy to make. The Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake comes together in one bowl and bakes quickly. You brown one quantity of butter at the start of the recipe which then gets used in both the cake and the brown butter cream cheese frosting. This wee cake is so, so cute, and I can't wait to make more #tinysheetcakes!
Brown Butter Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
This cake is super simple - there is just a simple carrot cake, then a brown butter cream cheese frosting. The carrot cake layer is perfectly moist, and then the brown butter cream cheese frosting is one of my favourite things - I scaled down the frosting recipe from my favourite cinnamon rolls. The brown butter is what really makes this carrot cake sing - I love how toasty it is and the incredible depth of flavour it gives to the brown butter cream cheese frosting.
- Brown the butter - in this recipe I am going to get you to brown all the butter you will need for the recipe all at once. This will save you having to brown two separate small amounts of butter. Brown it all, then leave it to cool for a tiny bit.
- Make the mini carrot cake - The mini carrot cake is super easy to make. You just combine the brown butter, raw sugar, oil, and egg, then incorporate the dry ingredients. The carrot then gets folded in at the end and the whole thing gets popped into the oven.
- Mix up the brown butter frosting - I like to use an electric hand mixer for this job, but you can do it by hand if you like. The brown butter needs to be cool but still spreadable for this. I like to pop it in the freezer and stir every minute or so until it is smooth and creamy.
- Frost the cake - Plop the brown butter cream cheese frosting on top of the cake, live your best life with your offset spatula, then enjoy your mini carrot cake!
Tiny sheet cake baked in an Eighth Sheet Pan
I recently bought myself a whole bunch of Eighth Sheet Pans. I have had them in my kitchen for a few years - I have two by my stove to keep oil and things on and they are great for toasting nuts, baking a little piece of fish, baking a sweet potato, or for baking off two cookies. However as I have been exploring more small batch recipes, I started wondering if you could make a tiny sheet cake in an eighth sheet pan - and turns out that you absolutely can, and that it works great.
An eighth sheet pan gets its name from the size - it is an eighth of the size of a full sheet pan which makes it half the size of a quarter sheet pan (which is then a quarter of the size of a full sheet pan etc). It measures 9.5"x6.5" (24x16.5cm) approximately. A tiny sheet cake is the perfect size for just a few people, and it doesn't have the stress of assembling a layer cake. You get a great cake to frosting ratio. I LOVE them. This Mini carrot cake worked perfectly as a tiny carrot sheet cake!
I have a few eighth sheet pans - the ones from USA pan or Williams Sonoma or Nordicware all work great. The Williams Sonoma and USA pan versions are more heavy duty and non stick so I would recommend those! See the FAQ for alternative pan sizes! If you are going to invest in one (they are super cute and so handy), I promise there will be more small batch recipes coming your way too using them! There's nothing I hate more than a recipe that calls for a certain sized pan and then you have no use for it for the rest of your life. I won't do that to you. Promise.
How to make Brown Butter
If you look at the mini carrot cake recipe you will notice there are a few different quantities of brown butter in there. There is an initial quantity called for - 110g, and then the cake uses 25g brown butter, and the frosting uses 50g of brown butter.
This is not a typo. I am not hiding mystery butter from you. When you brown butter, you are cooking off the water and browning the milk solids. This means that the butter will reduce in quantity as the water is cooked off, meaning that the yield of brown butter will be less than the initial starting weight of non brown butter.
I use an initial quantity to get you to brown all of the butter at once to help keep it easy. Generally the way I calculate the starting weight of butter needed is to calculate the quantity of brown butter needed in the recipe (in this case 75g, 25 for the cake and 50 for the frosting), and then multiply it by 1.3 and add a tiny bit. This accounts for the moisture loss, and makes sure you aren't caught short with not enough brown butter.
FAQ for Mini Carrot Cake
You can use a 9"x5" loaf pan! I made it in a 1 ¼lb pan just to test too and it came out great. It will be a tiny bit thicker so you may have to increase the bake time by a few minutes - just keep a close eye.
Yes! The carrot cake keeps really well in an airtight container at room temperature so you could make it up to two days in advance and it would be fine. You can make the brown butter cream cheese frosting ahead of time too if you like - just bring to room temperature and re-whip before using to frost the cake.
Yes! This recipe makes 6 cupcakes. Watch this space for a recipe for that coming soon!
No, if you don't want to brown the butter you absolutely do not have to. Just use 25g melted butter in the cake and then 50g room temperature butter in the frosting.
Turbinado sugar, or raw sugar, or sugar in the raw, is the larger crystal sugar. You can use an equivalent weight of light or dark brown sugar if you don't have it on hand.
For more Small batch recipes, check out:
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A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
This mini carrot cake is super cute! A small batch brown butter carrot sheet cake is baked in an eighth sheet pan or a loaf pan for the perfect tiny carrot cake. It is topped with a small batch cream cheese frosting and is perfect for a tiny celebration or any time you need a tiny carrot cake!
- 110g unsalted butter, cold from the fridge is fine
Brown Butter Mini Carrot Cake
- 115g turbinado/raw sugar
- 40g neutral oil
- 25g brown butter
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 75g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 90g freshly grated carrot (large holes on the box grater is fine)
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 50g brown butter, chilled until spreadable (not liquid - you want it the consistency of what room temperature butter would be)
- 100g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 125g powdered sugar, sifted
- ⅛ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- pinch of salt
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool slightly. Some will be used in the cake and some in the brown butter cream cheese frosting (see recipe notes).
MINI CARROT CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and line an eighth sheet pan or a 9"x5" (23x13cm) loaf pan with parchment paper which extends over the sides to form a sling.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the raw sugar, oil, and brown butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well until the mixture is well combined and has slightly lightened in colour.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Add the carrot and fold to incorporate.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Place into the oven and bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until the cake is done in the middle and springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the pan.
BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- If your brown butter is still liquid, place in a bowl and place into the freezer, stirring every minute until spreadable. Place chilled brown butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer or whisk well until well combined. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whip until light and fluffy.
- Remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper and place onto a serving platter.
- Spread the brown butter cream cheese frosting over the surface of the cake using an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
- Place briefly in the fridge to chill the icing if desired before cutting.
- Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container.
You may notice the quantities of Brown Butter don't quite add up to the initial amount of unsalted butter - this is to account for water loss when browning - read more about that above.
To get the brown butter spreadable I put it in the freezer and stir every minute or so until it has the consistency of room temperature butter. You can do this directly in the bowl that you make the frosting in before adding the other ingredients.
Keywords: Carrot cake, mini carrot cake, small batch carrot cake, brown butter carrot cake, brown butter cream cheese frosting, tiny sheet cake