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March 26, 2012

The best carrot cake recipe

In my opinion, that is. But I am particularly fond of carrot cake, if that gives me any cred. This is the cake I made for Dashiell’s birthday this year, and the cake we served at our wedding. Awwww. It’s my friend Carol’s recipe, actually her mom’s, and proves that sometimes old fashioned 50′s recipes are maybe the best after all. I first had it when she made it for my dad’s 40th birthday party, 20 years ago. (OMG!) I’ve been slightly obsessed since then.

It’s freakishly easy and pretty much makes itself, which makes you feel a wee bit guilty when accepting the abounding praise you’ll enjoy if you serve this to a group of people. And they will all demand the recipe. So I’ll just say, you’re welcome, and we’ll get on with the how-to.

The Most Delicious Carrot Cake Ever

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour 2-9 inch round pans or 1-9×13 inch pan. Be liberal with the butter. It really does help the cake slide out more easily after baking.

For the cake:

2 c flour
2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt

2 t cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
2 c grated carrots (I used more because I cannot help myself)
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c golden raisins
1 c chopped, toasted walnuts

The frosting*:

1/2 C butter
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 t vanilla
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar

To make:

Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat eggs with sugar, then add oil and vanilla and blend. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Add remaining ingredients (the fruits and veg) and mix well. Turn into prepared pans and bake 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer. Let cake(s) cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool further.

Cream butter, cheese and vanilla. Add sugar gradually beating well. It’s so good.

*For a 9×13 inch cake, make 1 1/2 recipes of frosting, and for 2-9×13 inch cakes, 2 recipes of frosting is enough.

I made two batches of cake and 3 batches of frosting for a layer cake (totally winged it, btw), which also left me with enough for one extra round cake.

One tiny tip my mom shared whilst I was in the middle of muddling my way through my first ever frosted cake… for light frosting on a darker cake, you have to seal the entire thing with a thin coating of frosting first. This layer will be all crumby and messy looking, but then once it’s set (I put mine in the fridge for an hour or so), you can liberally frost the cake again without any ugly crumbs ruining your masterpiece.

Also, if you actually want your cake to look good, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to trim the top and edges so the entire stack is beautiful and even. I forgot about that. But you know, I’m rustic at heart.


  1. Deja said on March 26, 2012

    So glad you posted! This cake was amazing!!

  2. noodle said on March 27, 2012

    That sounds delicious… I had a perfect carrot cake a few months ago, and the lady just won’t budge, it looks like her recipe will go to her grave!
    Thank you, sharing is caring!

  3. Heather said on March 27, 2012

    I love carrot cake and will definitely be giving this recipe a try! It sounds and looks wonderful!

  4. bridget said on March 27, 2012

    i love carrot cake. thus, i’m making it.

  5. MJ said on March 27, 2012

    This is my mom’s recipe :) She clipped it out of the LA Times in the 60′s, I think. And still has the worn orignial copy in a scrapbook. We’ve had it for some many many celebrations, it’s my husbands favorite!

  6. Kristina said on March 27, 2012

    @MJ – omg! That makes perfect sense. Carol’s mom could have certainly clipped it from the LA Times in the 60′s too. We actually live in their house, which makes it even more nostalgic… making the same cake in the same kitchen 40 years later. Thanks for sharing the history!

  7. Claudia said on March 27, 2012

    I’ll be bookmarking this! I’ve been wanting to make a great carrot cake lately. Thanks for sharing your favorite recipe.

  8. kate hollingsworth said on April 4, 2012

    I made this last night and let me tell you – it was truly AH-mazing! Thanks for sharing.


  9. holly said on April 7, 2012

    going to make this for easter tomorrow! thanks.

  10. Ana R. said on April 7, 2012

    Going to buy all the ingredients and bake it tonight :) thanks for the recipe!!!

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    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specially the ultimate section :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and best of luck.

  12. Jeff said on May 11, 2012

    This recipe looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. I will be making it for my future mother-in-law for Mother’s Day.

    When it comes to carrot cake, however, she is a purist and doesn’t believe pineapple or raisins belong in it. I’m not much of a baker (more of savoury tooth)’ so im not sure: Do you think the recipe will work if I just omitted the cup of raisins and pineapple? I’m concerned about losing 2cups worth of ingredients an, potentially, a moisture problem.

    Thanks for your help!

  13. christine said on August 10, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!! This is the very best carott cake I have ever tasted!!!

  14. jamie said on November 3, 2012

    OMG i just had to look this up because (toddler allowing) i am going to make it for BEN’S 40th birthday this weekend!

  15. Julie said on July 11, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made this cake for my daughter’s second birthday, and everyone LOVED it! Best cake I’ve every made!!!

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    this carrot cake self life how many days self lief

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