my favorite carrot cake

This cake, born of years of experimenting and tweaking, is finally to a point that I’m ready to share. I’m not sure I can express how much I love this cake. But, of course, I’m going to try…


Birthday? Make this cake. Springtime? Make this cake. Feeling a little down? Make this cake. Tuesday? Make this cake. Really… this cake might just be the answer to all of the world’s problems.


As you can see below, even our pup wanted a piece. (He had to settle for something dog-friendly, but that didn’t stop him from closely supervising my little photo session.)


Granted, I’ll admit to loving the cheap carrot cake that you can find at your corner, mass-market grocery store bakery (the kind with the uber-sweet cream cheese frosting and the little orange carrot piped on the top) — but there’s just no comparison to this cake.


By the way… everyone has their own opinion on the coarseness of the shred on the carrot. Some people want it finely shredded; however, I prefer the larger shred (think the side of the box grater that you’d use to shred cheddar cheese) because I find it holds on to its moisture better. But… do what makes you happy.


Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped pecans, plus extra (whole and/or chopped) for garnish
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8-9 inch round or one 9×13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in carrots and pineapple. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan(s).

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 50 minutes (depending on pan size), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3.5 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake and garnish with extra pecans.

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7 thoughts on “my favorite carrot cake

  1. grace says:

    in my experience with carrot cake, which is in no way insignificant–it’s a favorite of mine too, crushed pineapple and cinnamon are essential. also, if there’s no cream cheese frosting, it’s a waste of both the baker’s and eater’s time. is that too harsh? nah. :)

  2. gretchen says:

    beautiful … not a big carrot cake fan, but if it’s as you’ve described it I bet I’d like it! Love seeing the pup too!

  3. Larie says:

    Oooh, that looks so tasty! I’ve been looking for a good carrot cake recipe to try, and this one looks fantastic.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Carrot cake is a family favorite! Yours looks yummy. Great photos!

  5. Sara says:

    I LOVE carrot cake, I’ll definitely try this out. I’ve used fresh pineapple and frosting between the layers before and it was delicious. Golden raisins are great too. My boss at work puts apples in his! Can’t wait to try yours out!

  6. Your cake is not only a delicious sounding recipe, but the photos make me want to eat my computer screen. Tell that cute pooch to stay away, MY slice.

  7. I just got around to trying your cake!! A real crowd winner for sure. Thanks so much for posting it.

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