Toaster Oven Carrot Cake

Moist and flavorful, this toaster oven carrot cake is generously spiced and packed with goodies (like raisins, pineapple, and pecans). It makes a great snack cake served plain but can easily be topped with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut for an extra special treat. 

Mini carrot cake on a white plate with a fork.

This cute little cake is a mini version of your traditional carrot cake. It’s still super moist (thanks to a combination of applesauce and oil) but the recipe makes just a few servings, about 2 to 4 depending on how hungry you are. 

It can be baked in a 6-inch round cake pan, mini bundt pans, a mini loaf pan, or a small 7 x 5-inch baking dish. The perfect size for popping in a toaster oven! 

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

Ingredient Notes

Carrots: You’ll need one large or 2 small carrots, peeled and grated using the large holes of a box grater. Avoid the pre-shredded carrots at the store or your cake will be super dry.

Flour Options: We’ve had success using white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour in this recipe. 

Mixins: We like to use a tablespoon of chopped pineapple, raisins, nuts, and coconut. You can go with any combo, you just want to keep the total amount of mixins to 1/4 cup or less.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Start by adjusting the toaster oven cooking rack to the bottom placement, select the BAKE setting and preheat to 325°F. Spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil. 

Glass bowl with cake batter on a cutting board.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the shredded carrots and mix-ins together. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the flour mixture over the carrots and toss well. This will help to keep them from sinking to the bottom of your cake.

3. In a large bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together. Then stir in the carrots and mix-ins.

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

4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Then smooth the cake batter into your prepared pan.

How Long Do I Need To Bake The Cake?

You’ll want to bake the cake at 325°F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

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

The total amount of time will depend on the type of pan used. Below are some suggested baking times for the pans we’ve tried before:

  • 6 x 2-inch Round Cake Pan: 20 to 25 minutes 
  • 7 x 5-inch Stoneware Baking Dish: 18 to 22 minutes 
  • Mini Loaf Pan (3 x 5.75 x 2.5-inch): 27 to 30 minutes
  • 2 (1-cup) Mini Pans: 18 to 22 minutes

If you’re using 1-cup mini bundt pans you’ll want to go light on the mix-ins, ours were pretty full.

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

Plain or Frosted, It’s Up To You!

To top the mini cakes pictured, we made a tangy Yogurt-Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s not too sweet and is a great option if you’re out of powdered sugar. 

Sometimes we’ll just enjoy the cake plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with some small-batch whipped cream and toasted coconut.

But if you like a more traditional topping, you can use a 1/4 batch of your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe instead.

Closeup of frosting and cake layers.

More Toaster Oven Baking Recipes 

Mini square carrot cakes topped with frosting and toasted coconut.

Toaster Oven Carrot Cake

Yield: 1 6-inch Round Cake
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 Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch Ground Cloves, optional

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3 tablespoons Canola 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
  • 1 tablespoon Raisins, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shredded Coconut (we used unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Pecans

Instructions

  1. Adjust the toaster oven cooking rack to the bottom placement, select the BAKE setting and preheat to 325°F.
  2. Coat a 6 x 2-inch round pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil. *See notes section for pan substitutions.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, applesauce, and brown sugar until combined. Stir in the carrots and any mix-ins.
  5. Fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture, stirring just until combined and no flour streaks remain.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and lightly tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  7. Bake until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted in the middle is clean or with a few crumbs, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting if desired.

Notes

Mini Pan Baking Times

  • 7 x 5-inch Stoneware Baking Dish: 18 to 22 minutes
  • Mini Loaf Pan (3 x 5.75 x 2.5-inch): 25 to 30 minutes
  • 2 (1-cup) Mini Pans: 18 to 22 minutes

Flour Substitutions: We've had success using all-purpose flour and Bob's Red Mill's 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour. For best results, spoon flour into a measuring cup and then level with a knife.

Sugar Options: We tried light 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 without a problem.

Toaster Oven Sizes: The baking time in smaller/lower-wattage toaster ovens may be increased by a few minutes.

Nutritional information is an estimate for 1/4 of an unfrosted 6-inch cake without any mix-ins.

Recipe adapted from the cookbook 101 Things to Do with a Toaster Oven.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of Cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 22.1gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 10.7gProtein: 3.8g

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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