A slice of carrot cake with almond flakes
For Deliciously Dense Carrot Cake, Always Skip Out On Cake Flour
If you want your carrot cake to be rich, moist, and dense, skip the cake flour and opt for flour comparatively higher in proteins, such as all-purpose flour.
With a low protein content of 7-10%, cake flour is less likely to form gluten. So, it won't be chewy like bread and will end up with a fluffy texture, making it ideal for cakes.
For a dense carrot cake, you need flour that's high in protein but not as high as bread flour, which has 12% protein. An all-purpose flour is right in between, with 11.7% protein.
Therefore, all-purpose flour forms a dough slightly tougher than cake flour but not too spongy as bread. Thus, a delightfully dense dough ensues.
It also helps hold the cake's structure, ensuring all those bits of shredded carrots can thrive better. However, cake flour produces a fluffy crumb that carrots won't hold up to.