This incredibly moist toaster oven carrot cake is generously spiced and loaded with goodies (like raisins, pineapple, and pecans). Delicious served plain, a slathering of cinnamon cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut make it taste extra special. Use this easy small-batch recipe as the perfect excuse to bake a 6-inch cake, mini bundts, or a mini loaf in your toaster oven.
Have you been bitten by the mini pan bug? It’s known to attack once you’ve decided to use your toaster oven for more than warming leftovers.
You first feel it searching your cabinets for toaster-oven-sized pans. Then, right as you hop on Amazon “just to see” what’s available…It takes over and in a flash, you own more mini pans than you know what to do with!
For us, it started with a tiny cast-iron skillet. After baking a fun mini blueberry lemon cookie we were hooked.
It’s a blur of tiny pans, but over the last two years, we’ve acquired mini loaf, tart, and bundt pans, two 6-inch round cake pans and so much more.
The Problem Is
We rarely use these adorable little pans. They’re like those cute dresses in the back of your closet. Honestly, you plan to wear them it’s just that jeans and a t-shirt always seem like the right outfit for the day.
And when it comes to baking you go straight for the comfortable cookie sheets and ramekins too. Barely glancing at those “fancy pans” in the back of the cupboard.
Last month, when we bought a mini square pan set I swore to myself They-Would-Get-Used.
It took a couple of tries but this moist, generously spiced, smothered in frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut toaster oven carrot cake tastes fantastic and fits perfectly in two of those mini square pans (or two 8-ounce ramekins).
You can stuff the batter full of goodies like raisins, pecans, pineapple, and coconut and your mini cakes will bake up beautifully in 25 minutes or less.
But wait! (using my best Billy Mays infomercial voice here) It gets better. This small batch of cake batter works in a bunch of pans, including a 6-inch round cake pan!
~ Keep scrolling there’s step by step photo directions & toaster oven tips after the recipe ~
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 small carrots, peeled and grated (about 2/3 cup packed)
- 1 tablespoons chopped pineapple chunks
- 1 tablespoon raisins, chopped
- 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
- Preheat toaster oven to 325°F and spray two 3.5-inch mini baking pans with cooking oil (see pan substitutions in notes below).
- In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, applesauce and brown sugar until combined. Stir in carrots and any mix-ins.
- Fold flour mixture into the wet mixture, stirring just until combined and no flour streaks remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, smooth the top and lightly tap pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted in the middle is clean or with a few crumbs.
- Allow cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes then transfer out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and topping with toasted coconut if desired.
Mini Pan Baking Times:
Two 3.5-inch Square Pans: 20 to 24 mins
6-inch x 2-inch Round Cake Pan: 24 to 26 minutes
Mini Loaf Pan: 27 to 30 minutes
Two Mini Bundt Pans: 18 to 22 minutes
This recipe was also tested with all purpose flour and Bob's Red Mill's 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour. For best results, spoon flour into measuring cup and then level with a knife.
This recipe was tested with regular brown sugar, organic cane sugar, and organic dark brown sugar. The brown sugars tasted best. For a sweeter cake, you can add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the recipe.
This recipe was tested with canola and melted coconut oil. You can substitute your favorite neutral flavored oil.
TOASTER OVEN SIZES
Recipe was tested in a Breville Smart Oven Pro and Oster TSSTTVVGS1. If using a smaller toaster oven like the Oster cooking time may be increased by 2 to 4 minutes.
Nutritional information is an estimate for 1/2 of a Mini Cake, unfrosted without any mix-in's.
Adapted from 101 Things to Do with a Toaster Oven
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: Half a Mini Cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 22.1gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 10.7gProtein: 3.8g
How To Make A Toaster Oven Carrot Cake
First, decide on your mix-ins, use any combo you want just try to keep it to 1/4 cup or less total.
You’ll also need 2 small carrots (or one large), peeled and grated using the large holes of the grater. Avoid the pre-shredded carrots at the store or your cake will be super dry.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. (We’ve used white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and Bob’s Red Mill’s 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour successfully)
Then sneak a 1/2 teaspoon of the flour mixture and sprinkle it over your mix-ins and the carrots. This will help them from sinking to the bottom of your cake.
Whisk the wet ingredients together, then stir in the carrots and mix-ins.
Once you’ve folded in the dry ingredients all that’s left is to bake your cake!
Using a 6 x 2-inch cake pan, it took about 25 minutes at 325 F.
Mini Carrot Cake Loaf And Bundts
The cake batter will also fit in a mini loaf pan. You’ll need to bake it a little longer, about 30 minutes.
The pans are just 5-3/4 inch by 3 inches, tiny but perfect for baking a mini One Banana Banana Bread.
If you’re using 1-cup mini bundt pans go light on the mix-ins, ours were pretty full just from the plain carrot cake batter.
Don’t forget to give those tiny cake stands you bought ages ago from the Dollar Spot their moment of glory too.
Do It Your Way
We’ve got a recipe for not-too-sweet Small Batch Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (No Powdered Sugar).
But if you like your cream cheese frosting on the sweet side – No hard feelings, make a 1/4 batch of your favorite recipe instead.
Want to make it lighter? Play around with substituting more applesauce or drained crushed pineapple for some of the oil.
Looking to feed a bigger crowd? Maybe try resizing your Aunt Susan’s Fabulous Carrot Cake Recipe to fit in your toaster oven? Here are 3 Tips For Halving Any Recipe Like A Pro from the Kitchn to get you started.
Regardless of your recipe, pan, or kitchen attire (cute dress or comfy jeans), we hope you have fun baking something delicious with your toaster oven.