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Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is moist with tiny orange flecks and frosted with rich cream cheese frosting.

The Sauce: Cream Cheese Frosting – Rich and creamy, this frosting is lightly whipped and is a good complement for moist carrot cake. It combines flawlessly when the cream cheese and butter are softened to room temperature. The frosting sets when chilled.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Orange confetti

Our family didn’t have much money when I was growing up but we always had carrots in the fridge. They make a colorful side dish and a crunchy brown bag accompaniment. They’re cheap but loaded with sweetness and Carrot Cakegoodness like beta carotene, their namesake. Mom used to say, ‘Eat your carrots for sharp eyes.”

I must be just like mom because I always have them in the crisper of my fridge. When I want to bake a special cake, those bright orange carrots beckon. The moist cake is loaded with orange confetti flecks and warm cinnamon. Today I visited a friend who is recuperating from surgery with a Carrot Cake in hand. She said, “Wow, hands down the best carrot cake I’ve had.” Here is another story about carrots.

You may also enjoy Carrot Cupcakes, Banana Cake, Raspberry Loaf Cake, Citrus Layer Cake, Strawberry Chiffon Cake, Tres Leches Cupcakes, Financiers, Roasted Maple Carrots, Glazed Carrot Sticks,Cabbage and Carrots and how to make a carrot rack for a roast chicken.

2013 AniversaRecipe – Chicken Provence
2012 AniversaRecipe – Baked Potato and Bacon Soup
2011 AniversaRecipe – Jabberwocky Burritos

Recipe: Carrot Cake

Active Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes | Yield: 1 8” or 9” Double Layer Cake

julianne-shred Carrot Cupcakes
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots, 4-5 medium
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Special Equipment – two 8” or 9” round cake pans, hand beaters

Carrot Cupcakes
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.

2 Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

Cake Cooling3 In a large bowl combine carrots, applesauce, oil and eggs. Add flour mixture a little at a time and blend just until combined.

4 Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

5 Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting Cream Cheese Frosting
6 Meanwhile beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, then vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

7 When cake layers are cool, frost one then place the second on top and frost the other. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

4-ounce-applesauce-cupsIndividual 4-oz applesauce cups are an easy way to add pre-measured amounts to a recipe without opening a large jar. Use 1 in this recipe. You can also mash up a very ripe fresh pear or a couple canned pear halves.

The frosting will set when chilled.

4-inch baby cakesCarrots are very high in Vitamin A and rich in beta

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carotene, an antioxidant named for them. Most carrots are orange but red, purple, yellow and white varieties are also grown.

Cream Cheese has a long shelf life if it remains in a sealed package. I like to buy a few months supply when it’s on sale. I stow it in the back of my fridge so it’s ready for Cream Cheese Frosting on the fly. I top it on this Carrot Cake and Banana cake made with those over ripe almost black bananas. I also use it in White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, spread on bagels, Zucchini Cheese Soup, Blueberry Cheesecake, Cranberry Cheesecake, and mixed in dips, sauces and appetizers like Bleu Cheese Ball and Creamy Orange Fruit Dip.


recipe will make 24 cupcakes, bake 21-23 minutes; or one 9×13 sheet cake, bake 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back.

Carrot-Cupcakes-with-Cream-Cheese-FrostingMake some 4-inch baby cakes in pretty, paper baking rounds.


Dish Designer

  • Exchange walnuts for pecans or omit.

Carrot-Layer-CakeInspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Carrot Cake
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: January 17, 2014

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2 Responses to Carrot Cake

  1. Cheryl January 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    I have been waiting impatiently for this recipe to post since Helen gave me my own small carrot cake months ago. If asked, I will always say I like carrot cake — but most of that is because of the cream cheese frosting. Very rarely do I really like the cake itself — sometimes it is good with the frosting, sometimes it is merely a vehicle for frosting. This carrot cake, however, is so yummy and moist I would even eat it without the frosting, and that is high praise indeed. Some of that is likely due to the apple sauce, but there must be some other secrets as well, because it really is that good!

    • helenhorton January 24, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      Carrot cake is one of my favorites, too!

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