How To Bake A Toaster Oven Carrot Cake

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.

Mini carrot cake on a white plate with a fork.

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.

Mini carrot cake loaded with frosting and topped with toasted coconut.

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 ~

Mini square carrot cakes topped with frosting and toasted coconut.

Toaster Oven Carrot Cake Recipe

Yield: 2 Mini Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

With this small batch recipe, you can bake 2 mini square cakes, a 6-inch carrot cake, mini bundts or a mini loaf using your toaster oven!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 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

Wet Ingredients:

  • 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)

Suggested Mix-ins:

  • 1 tablespoons chopped pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat toaster oven to 325°F and spray two 3.5-inch mini baking pans with cooking oil (see pan substitutions in notes below).
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, applesauce and brown sugar until combined. Stir in carrots and any mix-ins.
  4. Fold flour mixture into the wet mixture, stirring just until combined and no flour streaks remain.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans, smooth the top and lightly tap pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Notes

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

FLOUR SUBSTITUTIONS:

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.

SUGAR SUBSTITUTIONS:

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.

OIL SUBSTITUTIONS:

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.

Shredded fresh carrot, raisins, pecans, coconut, and pineapple.

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.

Glass bowl with cake batter on a cutting board.

Once you’ve folded in the dry ingredients all that’s left is to bake your cake!

Carrot cake batter in a 6-inch round cake pan.

Using a 6 x 2-inch cake pan, it took about 25 minutes at 325 F.

Round 6-inch carrot cake cooling on a wire rack.

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.

Mini cake loaf and two mini bundt cakes on cake stands.

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.

Closeup of a slice of carrot cake showing moist crumb and bits of carrot throughout.

14 Comments

  1. I know you didn’t plan this with us in mind, but this is the best solution for seniors living alone. Cake for one that isn’t a mug/microwave cake (not my favourite), and, taste memories of when there were four. I will try the entrees too.

    <3 More like this please?

    1. P.S. I am using little pyrex dishes that have snap on lids. Perfect! And I’m using a toaster oven. No microwave in this home.

      1. Glad to hear the Pyrex worked for you, Nonna. We actually ran into a little trouble with it and discovered the manufacturer does not recommend it be used in a toaster oven.

        To help others we did some research and wrote a post with more information that you can check out here if you’re interested: https://toasterovenlove.com/never-use-in-toaster-oven/

        The positive news is there are lots of good toaster oven-friendly alternatives these days.

        Happy Baking!

    2. Hi Nonna!

      Thanks for sharing your success with the cake, so glad it brought back happy memories. That warms our hearts and we’ll definitely be working on more recipes like this 🙂

  2. So good! My grandmother wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so I made this because I knew she liked carrot cake. She said it was the best she’d ever tasted and that I’d have to cook it every week! I used regular whole wheat flour, all oil, and 1/4 cup pecans.

    I did have a hiccup though because of what I cooked the cakes in. I baked the batter in two 8-oz. ceramic ramekins and placed a square of aluminum foil over the top because I worried it would burn. I baked them for 26 minutes, and the insides were still like batter while the outsides were getting done. I think I should’ve left them uncovered and baked a little longer. I ended up finishing my grandmother’s cake in the microwave after scooping it out onto a plate. Lol. I’m definitely going to be trying this again to figure out what mistake I made!

    1. Hi Angel,

      You sound like a really awesome granddaughter! 🙂

      With the ramekins, there’s a larger volume of batter in the middle than say a square pan or the 6-inch pan. Since cakes bake from the edges of the pan inward, the increased volume means it will take longer to cook through. I’m thinking the timing would be similar to the mini loaf pan (so you were super close!).

      Also, the foil may have kept them from baking in the middle. You might want to try baking without covering for the first 20 minutes. If you start to see the tops of the cakes over-browning, then you can cover them with the foil to protect them until the middle is cooked through.

      It sounds like you did great (especially coming up with a solution on the fly!) and that your grandma really appreciated and enjoyed your efforts 🙂

  3. I need to get a set of those mini 4″ square pans. My favorite mini pan I use is the casaware mini muffin pan that has 12 wells. I have two so I can fill all the wells at one time and the second batch can go right in while the first one cools after coming out. I make apple cinnamon mini muffins to eat with my eggs for breakfast before work. The combo is so amazing. I love carrot cake so I will definitely be trying this out.

    1. That’s really impressive, Cindy! Fresh apple cinnamon mini muffins sound fantastic and how can you have a bad day when it starts off that way!

      We did try this recipe in our mini muffin pan, it took about 12 minutes. They were tasty but I didn’t think they were as moist as the mini cakes. I would suggest reducing the temperature to 300 and cooking a little longer (13 to 15 minutes) if you give it a go 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great ideas!

  4. The cake looks like a carrot cake sandwich, so inviting! I would love a bite and those mini baking trays would be a great addition to my collection.

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