Hi Elise! This carrot cake is Amazing!! I’ve made this recipe many times and always receive tons of compliments. I would like to make it for a friend that is gluten-free and I was wondering if you had a gluten-free version?
Hi Jocelyn, I do not, though I’m guessing it would work fine with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour. If you do a test, please let us know how it works out for you!
Hi Elise! There sure are a glut of carrot cake recipes out there but I know from experience that I can always count on your recipes to be the best of the bunch! I would like to make this cake for a friend for Christmas. I will need to ship it, however, which causes unique concerns.. I’ve used KFC paper cake pans in the past to do this so no worries on that front but I am concerned about shipping a cream cheese-based frosting. If I shipped it to arrive in two days, would there be any health risks? Carrot cake is his favorite and as a last resort, I could buy a store bought version and include it in the box for him to frost but we all know that won’t taste nearly as good as homemade. What would you advise? Thanks in advance! (I also appreciated your gift giving ideas list email today with Christmas just around the corner!)
Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words! I’ve never shipped a cake like this before. A fruitcake, yes, but not a frosted cake. If I absolutely had to get this cake to someone, I would ship it overnight, and put a lot of those freezer bags (the ones that you ship with frozen foods) around it.
Hi Elise! I’ve tried this several times and I love how it tastes! The only thing I have problem with is that the cake is not easy to cut. It tends to get crumbly so I can’t get a perfect slice. Any guess on why this happen? Any suggestion? Thanks, Elise!
Hi Eve, yep, carrot cakes can be hard to cut. I would try chilling the cakes before assembling and frosting them, and then using a serrated knife to slice.
AH HA! A carrot cake that uses pineapple. I don’t know the history of carrot cake, I thought pineapple was as standard as the carrots themselves but I found many recipes where it was omitted! I’m eager to make this as a wonderful fall dessert! I enjoyed a good laugh over you & your Dad adding an ingredient after the cake was already in the oven!! I’ve done THAT before!!
As many have commented – this cake is very forgiving. I made it, as directed by recipe with the following modifications: 1) left out the nuts 2) substituted 1 cup of fine petite dice apple that I microwaved for a minute or so in place of the pineapple 3) added a little nutmeg and 4) made 1.5 x the frosting. I am not at all a huge frosting fan, but I don’t see 1x frosting giving coverage to the cake.
Turned out gorgeous! So moist. Lovely flavor, Texture from the coconut makes it so special. Wouldn’t describe it as easy to cut – but the fantastic flavor makes you say, “who cares!” Next time I’ll use the pineapple – I bet the addition of flavor is fantastic.
Thanks, as always, Elise. Your blog is my go-to for new things to cook for my family. I’ve used buckets and buckets of your recipes and they have all been huge hits and proved the hard work, home-kitchen testing and personal commitment you put into your site and recipes. Not one has failed me. Thank you. -C
Hi Carol, thank you for your comment! So many people have mentioned the frosting that I’ve gone ahead and upped the quantities by 50%. So hopefully that will do the trick for folks!
Thanks Elise! I make this every Easter – probably since you first posted the recipe – and I THOUGHT it looked a little different than before!
I love this recipe. I’ve made it as a cake a few times. Today I decided to change it up by making it vegan and in cupcakes, and it turned out just as delicious as the standard cake recipe. Here are my vegan substitutes: Instead of 3 eggs in the cake, I mixed 3 Tbls ground flax seed with 9 tbls water, mixed and let it sit for 10 minutes. For the frosting, I used vegan cream cheese and vegan butter substitute. Taste was great but consistency was thin, so I am letting it get more solid in the fridge. They taste great without frosting too!
Hi Judy, what a great idea to make it vegan! So glad the substitutions worked for you. Thanks for letting us know!
Linz, I’ve made this cake a number of times in a bundt pan, and it always came out well for me.
Hi, please advise if this recipe can be made in a bundt pan
This is the same as my favorite carrot cake recipe, except I fiddled around with it, replacing 1/2c of the oil with sour cream, 1/2c of the white sugar with brown, and added 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. Soooo good.
So I’ve always been terrified of baking, because nothing ever turned out the way it was supposed to. This holiday season I decided to try this recipe, simply because all of Elise’s recipes I’ve tried have been outstanding. This is now my default recipe page. I must say I was blown away by how easy and forgiving this recipe is. I skewed a few measurements, and substituted some of the oil for apple sauce. I can now confidently say I will never waste my money on carrot cake at a bakery EVER! Thanks Elise! Looking forward to trying another cake recipe
Hi, what happens when you use desiccated coconut instead? Anyone?
Made the carrot cake this past weekend for our family’s Thanksgiving lunch, and it was a TOTAL HIT !!!! Came out super delicious and moist. The frosting was perfect. Oh I did substitute half of the oïl for applesauce,
Your recipes are fantastic, thank you for this site !
This recipe is perfect. Just follow it exactly. Don’t worry about the dense batter (I was a little). The only thing I changed was the icing: from experience I know to never add any liquid to a cream-cheese icing; I add grated lemon, which melts into it perfectly and it stays thick.
Can I make it in 2 8 inch pans?
I haven’t made it in 8-inch pans, but if you try it please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
Can you make the cake ahead of time almost a week early) then freeze the cake (un-iced) I make this cake on good friday (i have found the cake gets even better after about two days) every year for Easter but this year my schedule is super packed and I’m not sure I can make it on good Friday.
I haven’t tried freezing this ahead of time, but it should work fine (without frosting). If you try it this way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I was wondering if you could recommend a brand of cream cheese for the frosting?
The brand I usually use is Philadelphia Cream Cheese. ~Elise
I would like to increase the recipe in order to make a 3 or 4 layer cake using this recipe; what modifications would I need?
No idea. You will probably need more frosting, I would double the recipe for that. You might want to make the two layers, freeze them, then cut them horizontally with a bread knife to form your layers. ~Elise
Elise, I made this carrot cake for a holiday party and now a friend has asked for the cupcakes version for her baby shower. Will it translate? (I see you have a carrot cake cupcake recipe, but my favorite part of this cake was the pineapple and coconut!)
I haven’t made this batter into cupcakes but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. You just need a much shorter cooking time. Your guess is as good as mine on the time. Good luck! ~Elise
Elise, I love this cake. I’ve been making it for almost three years now (since you first posted it) and every single time I get rave reviews. I can’t tell you how many times I have given this recipe to friends. I’ve done a double layer round cake, a 9×13 cake pan, and cupcakes– all have turned out fantastic! My four year old requested this cake for his birthday party tomorrow, with one slight modification– he wants it decorated like Spider-Man. We’ll use some food coloring, but I have a feeling it’s the first 4 year old birthday party to serve carrot cake :) Thanks for sharing recipes that are more than food– they are traditions!
I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it got rave reviews. I didn’t have a lot of time so I bought pre-shredded carrots. Realized when reading the recipe that they were a bit thick, but used them anyway and it tasted great! It rose well over the sides of the pan, but then sank when cooling.
For those with frosting issues, real homemade cream cheese frosting will always have a sour taste. Also, I’ve read that you can over-beat the cheese which lends towards the runniness–I usually keep the cheese at fridge temp to help with this.
A good sub for cream cheese is goat cheese, quark, or any kind of fresh soft farmer’s cheese.
I liked this cake so much that today I’ve made it for the second time in this week!!! It’s simply delicious.
Hello could I make the carrot cake with 1 cup of raisins instead of pineapples?
You could try it. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
Hi Elise and all, I made this cake over the weekend. I omitted the walnuts and baked in a 13×9 pan instead of the layer pans. Rich, moist, hearty, and wonderfully delicious! No need to increase the frosting, which I spread only on the top of the cake.
I prefer baking with butter–does anyone have advice on using butter in this case? I don’t really understand why so many recipes for cakes containing grated veggies (zucchini, for instance) call for vegetable oil, when butter tastes so much better. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Elise!
I made this cake on the weekend. It turned out great. I accidentally omitted the coconut flakes, it still turned out great. The cake is full of flavour, moist, delicious with or without the frosting and I made it with whole wheat flour.
Hi, I did the carrot cake using ur above recipe just yesterday specially for my husband’s birthday. Though i am not a good baker, but i can bake provided the recipe given is accurate. i was quite disappointed cause my cake didnt realy turn out well. when my hubby cut the cake we notice that the mixture wasn’t good enough as there were holes in between the cake layers, and the cake wasn’t soft. while the icing was quite sourish. The inner ingredients were too much that it has consumed the flour space. My opinion from the observation made are, to add 5 eggs instead of 4, reduce the ingredients to half of given measurements. I wasn’t able to even beat the cake well after mixing everything cause the cake dough was very thick. I have done so many cake they all turn out well but i wasnt satisfied bout this recipe. Though i would like to thank you cause I have an idea of carrot cake now. I attempted to do this cake after reading all your fan’s comment. My sister liked the cake thou. What could have went wrong when i used the exact measurement given?
Hello Vendhira, so many things can influence the outcome of a recipe, especially a baking recipe. Every oven is a little different. The brand of flour that you use can affect the outcome. The freshness of the ingredients, the water content of the particular carrots you are using, etc. etc. ~Elise
I’m a beginner in baking and would like to start with a one-layer carrot cake without the frosting. Can I make one simply by reducing the amount of ingredients by half?
I haven’t tried it that way, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I love this carrot cake! This is the only recipe I’ve tried, but it’s too good to risk trying anything else.
Long story short….. Me and “My Carrot Cake” get invited to lots of parties!!! Thanks for your awesome recipe!!
I tried this same recipe last year for Easter and it was the best carrot cake ever! This year I did the exact same recipe but made cupcakes instead of cake and they did not turn out as good – wierd! I also used the cheaper olive oil (in the big tin square can) this time and am wondering if that had something to do with it…hmmmm…
I have been making this cake for quite some time. I only use vegetable oil. Never olive oil. I also substitute pecans for the walnuts. I increase the icing recipe by 1/2 as my friends and family like more icing than the recipe calls for and I also add grated lemon peel to the icing.
I made cupcakes from this tonight and they were delicious. Thank you for the recipe. Some changes I made to make it “healthier” were: using sprouted flour, pastured eggs, coconut oil instead of olive (adds great flavor too!) and sucanat or rapadura sugar. Really great, and I baked for about 22 minutes. Thanks again!
Today, Saturday, the day of our Lord, March 18, 2011, we made this carrot cake. And it was not good. The idea to put grapeseed oil in this recipe was afoul. Poor Lucia decided to not finish the first slice. Such a shame for all those carrots that were mercilessly slaughtered at that hands of this cake.
The frosting was ok.
This is my first time making a carrot cake – and it was a huge hit in the office, even without the frosting. Thank you very much Elise! Your recipes are always a keeper!
This is the best recipe ever. This is my family’s favorite and it’s a favorite at parties. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s the best!
Hello, I want to make this carrot cake for my sister’s birthday – yum, my question – is there any way to incorporate the pinapple juice into the ingredients? Thanks for your help.
No idea. Baking recipes tend to be rather particular in terms of the proportions of liquid to leavening to flour, so it’s not something that I would personally experiment with. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I made this cake for the first time today for a family Christmas party, everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. I added walnuts and golden raisin because my mom likes them. She also likes butter so I did half butter and half oil. I also by mistake bought unsweetened coconut but it still tasted so good. Thanks for the recipe.
GREAT RECIPE. I made this over the weekend for my boyfriends birthday and it came out PERFECT. Might be the best I’ve ever had!
Do you need to add the lemon juice to the frosting?
That’s the recipe. But if you want to leave it out, by all means, try it, see if you like it without. ~Elise
I am going to bake this cake for my boyfriends birthday this week. I live in Vail,Colorado (8150 elevation). Do I need to make any adjustments?
Probably, but since I live at sea level I don’t know what to recommend for high altitude baking. You might want to look up some general advice for high altitude baking online. ~Elise
Hi. I would like to say that this was the first cake I ever made. :) The easy to follow steps caught my attentionand the comments were helpful. :) Although my mom didn’t allow me to do the frosting, so I was sad a bit, I really wanted to try it out… still the cake came out beautifully. It’s moist and delicious! I’d recommend this recipe to my friends and to people who like to eat carrot cake. :) Great recipe! :)
Making this cake for my hubby’s birthday tomorrow…just as I did last year! This is his FAVORITE carrot cake recipe. The frosting is to die for!
I made the cake over the weekend and I just LOVE it. Was soooooo delicious. Better than any carrot cake I’ve ever had. I ended up eating most of the cake. Oops.
Just made this recipe for my husbands birthday, added a cup of golden raisins, otherwise left recipe alone & it is fabulous! This was my first time making carrot cake & my hubby & I were very impressed. Highly recommend
I just made this cake today, and it is fantastic! However, when I made the icing, it separated and was grainy. Funny, because once when I made tiramisu, the cream did the same thing. Was the cream cheese/ butter too warm? Can altitude effect it (I live in Denver)?
I made this cake for the first time today and i used fresh shredded coconut and fresh pineapple.it’s turn out wonderful, I didn’t make the frosting as the cake itself is so nice.
Thank you for the great recipe.
I made this cake for the first time last week and WOW! it was a hit. Just wondering though – I made a double batch of icing as I thought it may not be enough. Now I have loads leftover. Can I freeze it to keep until next time I make the cake? Thanks and congratulations on a fantastic site – Helen
Great question, I have no idea! I’ve never frozen frosting before. ~Elise
So I am in the process of making another cake and I see now where I didn’t drain the crushed pineapple – that’s where the ‘watery’ must have come in. Turned out great, though.
Elise, I hadn’t ever made a carrot cake before, but I made this as a birthday cake for a great friend and it was wonderful! I added a few things: 1/2 c oats, 1/2 c wheat germ, 1 c almond meal (this meant 2 less c flour); I also added 1 c raisins and I doubled the cinnamon. The batter seemed thick and watery at the same time and I had my doubts when it went into the oven but it came out beautiful – and I’m at 7000′ elevation. To the icing, I added a little bit of the rind (no pith). I am already planning to bake it again later this week – for me!
I made this cake for my roommate’s birthday and it was AMAZING. It was my first carrot cake and I had a hard time deciding which recipe to use, but you’ve never let me down Elise so I went with yours. I am so glad I did! The frosting came out perfectly, but wished I’d had a little more to make a thicker layer.
I loved it so much I am making them again this weekend but as mini cupcakes for my sister’s engagement party!
All around so delicious and super elegant!
I made this cake it it was really delicious! The only changes I made are that I added a little less sugar (about 1/2 cups) and half of that was brown sugar. It made it taste not overly sweet, which was good, but the texture remained moist. Oh, and I also didn’t add the pineapple or any nuts, just coconut. The frosting didn’t turn out quite as fluffy and stiff as I would have liked, but it still tasted good. I think the texture I wanted wasn’t exactly achieved because I didn’t have an electric mixer and blended everything by hand. I topped it off with some dark modeling chocolate triangles and a rose that I made. It looks beautiful!
Just had to add a comment that this cake is NOT dry. It is very very moist. Seriously, best carrot cake ever. I was just getting ready to forward this to some friends, and I noticed the dry comment. I am not sure what could have happened to make the cake dry. But I have made this a few times and never had dry.
Made this cake last night for my husband’s birthday– everyone loved it and wanted to take extra pieces home! Needless to say, it was a huge hit. I increased the powdered sugar for the frosting since others who commented had issues with thinning, and despite an hour long car ride, the cake remained perfectly intact. I also added chopped nuts to the sides which gave the cake a lovely presentation. Besides the frosting, followed the recipe exactly. Superb carrot cake!
I made this over the weekend for Easter. Somehow I almost forgot to add the…CARROTS! (I was wondering why the batter didn’t look quite right…) But I saw them sitting on the counter in time to add them at the right time, and the cake baked up beautifully in 2 9-in. pans. I also had a minor issue with the cream cheese frosting. It tastes fantastic, but mine was also a bit on the runny side. I chalked that up to it being too warm since this was a sunny Florida weekend. About halfway thru frosting the cake, I put the cake and the remaining frosting in the fridge for a while to see if chilling it would help. (It helped some.) Anyhow, it tastes delicious and I couldn’t wait to dive into it Sunday afternoon.
I made this cake this morning. And it was seriously so dry. My guests were all joking that they need 1 or 2 cups of milk for it to all go down. I made a 1st batch and saw that the batter was more like softened cookie dough so I thought I added more than 3 cups of flour. Then did it again and got the exact same result. So I baked it and it was so dry. I made the icing and it was so runny. I added about 7 cups of confectioners sugar and it was still running. I ended up having to send my husband out to the store to buy frosting in a can. The cake looks awesome in the pic and I read many that said it was moist but I didn’t get that.
I made this Saturday for my Mom’s birthday. It was delicious. I ended up using 5 cups of powdered sugar to make the frosting stiffer. I love frosting so this was an added bonus:) Everyone loved it and there is not much left.
Hi, I have only one 9-inch cake tin, is it ok to bake the cakes one at a time?
Yes, you can bake the cakes one at a time, as long as you make the batter up for each cake, which means you need to split the recipe in half and only prepare half of the batter at a time. ~Elise
This is the first carrot cake I have ever made and OMG it was so fantastic. I have now tried a couple of recipes off of this site and I love it. Now when I am searching for recipes – I come here first. You guys can cook!!!! Elise – thanks for sharing your family recipes.
Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! I made this for Christmas and it got rave reviews.
This was my first time ever baking a carrot cake. It was wonderful. So moist and I love the bits of coconut and pineapple.
Just put it in the oven. Used 1 1/2 cups of plain lowfat yogurt to replace the oil then added 2 tablespoons of peanut oil (we only had extra virgin olive oil) we’ll see how it turns out! Hopefully it won’t be too dry from omitting some of the fat and calories…oh and I put the carrots in the food proccessor instead of grating them.
Do you think that I could subsititue half or all of the oil for plain yogurt?
No idea. In general I do not make substitutions like this in baking recipes, which are so particular in their chemistry. But if you do, please let us know in the comments how it turns out for you. ~Elise
This carrot cake was out of this world! Well, I made cupcakes, rather, but I used this recipe and just baked them for 19 minutes and it worked out fine. I used my standard sprouted whole wheat flour for this (1/3 hard red wheat and 2/3 soft white wheat/pastry wheat, sprouted, gently dried, and then finely milled in my WonderMill. Those without a mill can use Summer’s Sprouted Flours). I used Rapunzel unrefined sugar (I put some in the food processor before making the icing, since I didn’t have the “confectioner’s” version of it), red palm oil instead of olive oil, and then I used fresh pineapple, processed to a pulp in my food processor. I have to admit I was hesitant to put in the pineapple, thinking it would have a pronounced pineapple-y taste, but it doesn’t and the finished product was delicious! The only thing I did that I wished I hadn’t was put in some raisins that I found in my cupboard. They were kinda tough, but that has nothing to do with this recipe. Thanks again, Elise, your recipes are always spot on!
Baked the cake without the sweetened shredded coconut as I could not get hold of any. I increased the carrot to 3 cups and add 1 cup of raisins. The cake turned out fantastic.. moist and delicious. Thank you very much for sharing the receipe with us.
Hello…can I use fresh grated coconut for sweetened, shredded coconut in this recipe?
I recommend that you use the sweetened version, which because of the sugar has much more moisture. ~Elise
This was a good cake. It took a little over 50 minutes to finish. I felt that the frosting recipe was tooooo runny, I had to add sooo much powdered sugar to get it to a good consistency.
Made this for company last Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful. Very decadent, moist, and beautiful. I decorated it like you did in the picture and I felt like a master pasty chef. Thanks for the great recipe, best website EVER!
I tried this recipe today. I just needed to affirm a few things.
1. how high should the cake rise?
2. is it suppose to be very moist?
3. is this recipe supposed to be split into two 9″ baking pans? I did it it one and it did not rise as i thought it would be. But I just wanted to ask you first.
The cake smells & tastes good!
I don’t recall how high the cake rises. It should be moist. It should be split into two pans, as indicated in the recipe. ~Elise
Hello! Thanks for sharing this recipe — it turned out lovely as a birthday cake and everyone enjoyed it! I used pecans and quark-cheese instead! =)
I love this recipe. I have made it exactly as you have it here (well, not frosted so beautifully), and as cupcakes and both were delicious. For the cupcakes, I substituted canola oil for olive and the taste was a bit less rich, but still excellent. I filled the cupcakes almost to the top because I noticed the cake didn’t rise much, and that worked out well – 34 cupcakes (about 20 minutes). Also for the cupcakes, I used a lot less – half – the frosting. Anytime my often-sullen teenager remarks positively “you’ll make this again, right?” about something with vegetables in it, I am extra-impressed – thanks!
Amazing! I made this last week for my family. I substituted unsweetened apple sauce for 1/2 of the olive oil, and I used 1/2 whole white wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose flour. I also added a hefty dose of fresh ground nutmeg. So fantastic. I used a 9 X 13″ pan and baked at 350 for about 55 minutes. The cream cheese frosting was perfect, not too sweet with a nice tangy finish.
Thanks for this gem of a recipe!
I made these into cupcakes for my Easter potluck and they came out fabulously! The batter made almost 40 cupcakes (37-39 depending on how full you like your cupcake liners). I made around 39, baked them for 17-19 minutes in a metal muffin pan at 350 and they were perfect! I also have a silicon pan which took a few more minutes for the cupcakes to bake through, but this recipe was definitely a winner for me. The addition of the lemon in the frosting made all the difference and was a nice change from the normal sweet cream cheese frostings.
Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe Elise! I am definitely using this one again. :)
P.S. Bringing the sugar down to 2 cups from the original 3 was a great idea, it would have been cloying otherwise.
Hello there! You have a lovely food blog here and one delicious looking carrot cake recipe. I’ve been itching to try a carrot cake recipe and after finding this one I think I’ve hit the jackpot.
I was planning on making this for a potluck at work, however a whole cake can be somewhat messy in the frenzy of a breakroom and I thought maybe cupcakes would be a good idea. I do have a question though, would you suggest following the baking instructions for your Carrot Cake Cupcakes if I used this recipe instead? The cupcake recipe suggests 19-21 minutes at 350 degrees, which sounds about right to me, but then I’m somewhat of a newbie in the culinary world. Any thoughts?
Sounds about right to me too. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out! ~Elise
I just bought a 12″ X 18″ X 2″ deep cake pan. The big plan is to bake a carrot cake in it, decorate it in cream cheese frosting, and bake a 3-D lamb cake (Wilton’s pan,using a pound cake recipe for the lamb), placing the lamb on top the sheet cake with coconut (colored green with food coloring) around the base of the lamb for grass. Great for Easter and the grandchildren! The question: I want to double the recipe for the large sheet cake pan. Will it be O.K? I am concerned about baking, adding more baking time for a larger cake without overdrying or burning parts of it.
No idea. I have not made this cake in a deep rectangular pan. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I am going to make this for an Easter bake sale at our next roller derby bout on the 11th. Any idea how many cupcakes one recipe would make? I am terrible with guessing. . .I need around 2 dozen cupcakes!
Sorry my last message was confusing. An update: I baked a second cake – in cake pans this time – using your recipe with two significant modifications. I used 1-1/2 cups a.p. flour and 1-1/2 cups cake flour (instead of all a.p.), and I used 2 tsp baking soda plus 2 tsp baking powder (instead of the 1 Tbsp baking soda). The result was what I was hoping for; a lighter, more tender cake with all of the moistness and flavor produced by your recipe. Try this version; I think you’ll be pleased.
I thought my search for the best carrot cake recipe had ended when I read yours. My initial effort I thought was very good – especially the flavor and texture – but it wasn’t exceptional.
I left out the coconut, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I did make just a half recipe, and I baked it in a loaf pan. After baking it for 45 minutes I took it out of the oven, found the batter to be still uncooked in the middle and returned it to the oven for 15 more minutes. (Next time I’ll bake a half recipe in a pan with more surface area).
It was moist enough, but it seemed a little too dense. The extended baking time might account for this I suspect.
Curious, I went back to the two recipes I’ve had on file and also checked some other online recipes. The one place where your recipe consistently diverges markedly from these other recipes is the amount of flour. Your recipe calls for 3 cups, the others call for 2. Yours does use a little more oil, but everything else is pretty much the same, though most use a combination of baking powder and baking soda for the leavening.
I’m going to bake a carrot cake again soon using your recipe (it is after all a very good one) to test my theory about the baking time, but I was hoping to get your feedback on the amount of flour before doing this. Your thoughts would be much appreciated!
Best regards, Jud
Hi Jud, given that you left out the coconut, which is essential in my opinion for the moisture and the texture of the cake, and that you halved the recipe and cooked it in a loaf pan and not a cake pan, I don’t know what to tell you. Good luck with it though! ~Elise
This cake looks wonderful!! Carrot cake is my favorite and I usually use Ina Garten’s recipe but I’ve heard so many good things about the Silver Palate recipe I can’t help by try. Two questions though, how much do you fill your cake pans? 1/2 full? 2/3rds full? Also, does the coconut make it taste like coconut, or does it just add to the sweetness?
Hi Candice, in response to your first question, it really depends on the size of your pans. I have some professional cake pans with 2 1/2-inch high sides. I think I remember the batter going up about an inch, maybe a little more. Just divide the batter evenly between your cake pans and I think you’ll be fine. Do not let the batter go more than 2/3 up though or I think you’ll have overflow issues. Regarding the coconut question, I find it is mostly a matter of moistness and texture, and not taste. Personally I do not taste the coconut so much. Others may though. ~Elise
I have been making your recipes for a long while now. I saw this one and was positively dying to try it out, but I had to postpone until I could get over another hit from the virus factory at my kid’s schools.
Finally! I made it yesterday. Amazing. Holy cow! Thanks again and again. You and your recipes ROCK!
I just made this – my boyfriend requested carrot cake for his birthday tomorrow. I used spare batter for cupcakes – WOW. This is the first time I have had carrot cake and this is amazing! Hot out of the oven it was really moist. Gorgeous :) Thanks for posting it!
Also had a problem with the icing. I mixed it by hand, which made it virtually impossible to get all the lumps out. Funny thing, before I added the powdered sugar, it looked like icing. Afterwards, it thinned out substantially to more of a glaze. Not sure why. I added more sugar and refrigerated to thicken it up a bit, but it still doesn’t look as clean as the picture.
Wonderful cake. I made it yesterday and didn’t allow it to cool completely before cutting – we were all to anxious! It truly is the best carrot cake I have ever put in my mouth! I want to make it for a party now. Do you find that when you cut the cooled cake into 12 slices that each slice stands up nicely, or do you have to lay each piece on its side?
They stand up okay, but are more stable on their sides. ~Elise
Last Sunday I made my very first carrot cake following your recipe. Although I omitted a lot of the essential ingredients (e.g.the walnuts & shredded coconut since I don’t have them in stock) it still turned out wonderful.
I’ve made a few modifications however, I added 1 TB of nutmeg, 2 TB honey + 1 1/2 c sugar and baked it on a 10″ springform pan. When I popped it out of the oven, oh the smell was just beautiful.I just love the soft and moist texture inside. It turned out a bit red/brown(almost like a carrot) compared to what’s been sold here in the bakeshops. Maybe I overdo the honey/nutmeg? Well,it was well appreciated by my kids i didn’t bother with the frosting as we couldn’t wait any longer to taste it.
Next week I’ll try them with the frosting on and indulge only after the whole ensemble is finished.:)
Thanks Elise for this wonderful recipe and for your informative site!
What is your opinion on substituting part of the oil with applesauce? Does it really keep the same texture and flavor? I’m always looking for ways to cut fat and calories, but I’ve been afraid to try this.
Well, since you asked for my opinion I’ll give it. I am not a proponent of substituting applesauce for the fat in baking recipes. I would rather enjoy a smaller portion than sacrifice the taste, texture, and moisture. This is my personal opinion and cooking/eating philosophy. But that doesn’t mean that it should apply to you or anyone else. Many people make substitutions like apple sauce and seem to be happy with it. ~Elise
Now. How did you achieve the effect on the frosting of draped cloth? I love it! I’ve read most but not all the comments so maybe you’ve already answered my question. If so, I’m sorry. Thanks!
With an offset spatula. Works so much better than a knife for icing a cake. ~Elise
I made this cake today. Looks wonderful !! Just wondering if it needs to be kept cold.
We didn’t. We just cover it with plastic wrap and leave it out. It gets eaten up in a couple of days. If you are keeping it longer than that, you might want to refrigerate it. ~Elise
I’m new to your site …do you think this recipe would work with butter? The cake looks beautiful and that would be only change I would want to make.
Haven’t tried it, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
I made this cake yesterday. My husband loved it.
it is a great dessert.
I’ve made this cake many times, mostly to sell at fund raisers for our local library and I always do it in a 9X13 pan… it works a treat!
Wondering why olive oil? I used to make this cake when I was in high school but the recipe I used called for vegetable oil. Think it would make a huge difference? Thanks~ Venie
You can use vegetable oil. Or grapeseed oil. We just use olive oil. Will not make much of a difference, just make sure the oil tastes good. Oils can so easily go rancid. ~Elise
Made this cake last night after craving it for a couple days when I first saw your post. I wasn’t sure if I should use this new recipe or my old stand-by carrot cake recipe. Unfortunately, I think I should have used my old recipe. This cake was too eggy and the frosting was just ok. It DID make my house smell really good so maybe I’ll make it alone based on just that! ;)
Here’s a question: can you substitute EggBeaters-type products for the eggs in this recipe? Would that work for cakes in general?
According to the EggBeaters faq it looks like people do use them for baking. But I have no idea how well they will work in this or any other cake recipe, having never cooked with them myself. ~Elise
The pineapple MAKES this cake. We’ve been making a carrot cake similar to this for years in my family. I have yet to taste a carrot cake more moist and decadent.
I would love to make this cake for my sons birthday this Saturday. The only problem I have is that we don’t have cream cheese where we live (we live in Armenia). So, I was wondering what can I use instead of cream cheese? Any ideas? thick yogurt?
Use a butter cream frosting (look one up in Google), or whisk together some powdered sugar with lemon juice and drizzle all over the cake. ~Elise
I make a similar recipe. Except, I usually take the shredded carrots and microwave them in a bowl with a little water. Not necessary, but I think it helps soften them up to make the cake have a nice moist even texture.
I haven’t made this cake in years, but love it, and in my opinion it’s the cooking/pureeing of the carrots that sets this recipe apart from ordinary carrot cakes, and improves the texture. And cooking is so much easier than shredding! Please, try it the way it was written originally!
I have a similar recipe only for the icing I use 8 oz. cream cheese, a whole stick of butter, a box of X-10 sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. After icing the side I press a mixture of mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts into the sides – excellent addition.
Sounds pretty wonderful — I’m thinking a little cardamon in the cake, with some orange zest in the frosting, would really turn the trick. I also recall that when my mother would make a cake similar to this, she’d mix some grated carrot with crushed pineapple and use it in between the layers (she’d either bake it in three layers, or in two and cut them apart horizontally with a long length of thread), then the cream cheese frosting on the top and sides. I believe I may have a weekend project here.
My mom’s carrot cake is similar, but she makes a caramel sauce that she pours over the cake before she frosts it… absolutely to die for. But, you should try the frosting for your Strawberry Cream Cake on this carrot cake. It pairs beautifully and is a nice contrast to the dense cake.
I have been using a recipe very similar to this one, which I found in Cooking Pleasures magazine.
It cooks wonderfully in muffin tins! But I find the results are much superior without muffin papers. As with cake pans, you’ll need to cut little parchment rounds for the bottoms, so they lift out easily.
My own modifications are:
* Use vietnamese cinnamon
* Add some fresh ground nutmeg
* Add a generous sprinkling of dried minced orange peel to the frosting
FYI – Years ago this recipe (read: similar recipes) were called “Lady Bird Cake” after Lady Bird Johnson, and also called Hummingbird Cake – to help differentiate it from the more common Carrot Cake.
I just baked this cake yesterday. I was worried as the batter was so dense but the result was moist and savory. It turned out great. The icing was not quite enough to give it a thick layering of frosting like your pic. The cake showed through as the icing was too thin. This should be remedied by adding a bit more confectioner’s sugar, correct? I will add this cake to my repertoire of special occasion desserts! One last thing, when you say beat are you referring to beating in a mixer or by hand?
I think you’ll find it easier to use a mixer than beating by hand. Regarding the frosting, there is just barely enough to sufficiently frost the cake. You just have to be careful – not too much in the middle layer, use a rubber spatula to get every last bit from the bowl. The frosting is pretty sweet, so I can see why one wouldn’t want to overdo it with it. But if you want more frosting, and you don’t want to open another package of cream cheese, add another 2 Tbsp of butter, another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and a little more lemon juice and vanilla to the frosting batch. ~Elise
I made cupcakes using this recipe, baking them at 350 for 20 minutes. They turned out perfectly, thanks!
Saw the recipe yesterday. Made it tonight with only one change – added 1/2 cup of raisins. Terrific! Thanks for the motivation!
I made this cake tonight in a 9×13 pan it it worked just fine! It took about 55 minutes. Nice and chunky and delicious.
Great! Thanks for letting us know. ~Elise
Everyone loves this recipe,in fact a friend asked me to make it for his restaurant.The coconut and pineapple make the difference. It is similar to the Dr. Byrd cake (from colonial Philadelphia) which has bananas,coconut,and pineapple as the main ingredients (n0 carrots)
I have also made the banana cake from the same cookbook and it is excellent. It’s a true cake with frosting, not a banana bread. Give it a try sometime!
Is the pineapple used in the recipe fresh or canned? If it is canned can I use fresh pineapple instead?
The pineapple is canned. You should be able to use fresh, but you want it quite shredded, not chunks. ~Elise
This comment is for Bonnie…
I’ve been making this cake for, well forever. lol I also leave out the pineapple and nuts..I keep in the coconut. I also use 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 brown. To keep the cake moist because I no longer have the pineapple in there..I mix the two sugars together and add it to the carrots and let them sit for about 15 minutes…the water will come out of the carrots and be pretty runny…but that’s okay ;) Follow the rest of the directions..and you’ll still have a perfect carrot cake. Another thing, because in college I couldn’t afford olive oil (ha!) I just used veg. oil and it still came out awesome and I use it to this day. :)
I’m not much of a baker (or cook for that matter), but I tried out your recipe. I made it for my wife’s birthday and she loved it. I actually bought some icing from the store (my wife hates cream cheese icing) and my wife liked the cake so much by itself we never used the icing.
Thanks for the recipe.
Hi, first comment from a long-time reader…
I was wondering whether shredded coconut is desiccated coconut? I am not a fan of desiccated coconut, and wondering what effect it would have if it were omitted from the recipe, same with the crushed pineapple? Could these ingredients be replaced with more carrot for a super carroty flavour?
Hello Bonnie, this particular recipe calls for sweetened shredded coconut, which is not the same as desiccated coconut. It also calls for pineapple. If you do not wish to use these ingredients, then I suggest looking for a different carrot cake recipe. There are several available online that do not use either coconut or pineapple. ~Elise
Hi. My husband is allergic to tree nuts, which includes walnuts, so I’m wondering if I can make this carrot cake without them. Is the lack of walnuts going to affect anything about the cake? Thanks.
You can make the cake without the nuts. ~Elise
Can this cake be baked in a 9 x 12 pan instead of in round cake pans?
Possibly, I’ve never tried it. If you make it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
The frosting I made was on the runny side, thus I can’t really keep it on the cake evenly. And that is because I have a mound on my cake. Why is it not flat out? How do I thicken the frosting?
Other than that, the cake had a unique taste to it which is kinda yummy!
To thicken the frosting, just add more powdered sugar. ~Elise
Very comforting recipe. I substitued half the amount of olive oil for applesauce. Used stoneground organic wheat flour instead of white. Lowered the sugar and used 1 1/2 cups. Added 1 tsp of ground cloves, 1 tsp of nutmeg. Sprinkled more cinnamon on warm cake prior to cooling. Baked for the 1st time. Recipe is a true gem! Thank you.
I’ve made this cake 3 times and it turned out amazing each time! The only change I’d make is to use 2 C olive oil to make it a bit more moist. Delicious!!
I make this recipe in 3 identical 9-inch cake pans, so the cake comes out 3-layered. I triple the filling, much reducing on the sugar. (Using about 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar with the rest of the ingredients tripled.) It still comes out sweet, delicious. I decorate the sides of the cake with chopped walnuts, and the top with a cake decorator and fresh pineapple. Also, I like to add fresly grated lemon zest to both the batter and the cream cheese filling. I think it helps the flavors to come together better. When it`s all done, it looks so beautiful and professional! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!
Hello, do you know if I can omit the nuts? My coworker is allergic, but I think she would LOVE nutless carrot cake! Thanks! Love the site.
Yes, just leave out the nuts if you want. ~Elise
This cake turned out wonderful! Very moist and flavorful. I’m making it for the second time in two weeks!!
WOW, this cake turned out to be just Greatt! My Husband loves eating it with morning coffee or simply with evening tea. I love the richness and the texture. Superb !
Thanks for the recipe, it was great. The only changes I made was to bake it in one large springform pan, reduce the flour by about half a cup and substitute half the oil for applesauce. It was a huge success, my boyfriend (much to the disgust of his mother who bakes regularly) claimed it was the best cake he had ever had. I iced it with a simple citris/icing sugar glaze.
I’m planning to make it again to take on a trip. Thanks again for such a good but simple recipe.
I can’t believe how rich, hearty and wholesome this cake is. The texture is amazing and it was the perfect level of sweetness. In addition to the cake, I dropped a little batter on a cookie sheet to see how it would work, and it was fantastic. I plan on making this again with whole wheat flour to make breakfast cookies for my kids! This is my sixth recipe, and sixth success from this site. Thank you Elise!
Is it possible to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour?
Don’t know how it would turn out. If you do it that way, let us know how it goes. ~Elise
I’ve made this carrot cake numerous times and it is always well recieved. In fact, my mother (who is the best baker I know), could not get enough!
Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.