Carrot Cake

carrot cake 2I had really hoped to post this carrot cake before Easter because it seems like such a fitting dessert for the holiday–it’s what we had yesterday–but the end of the week and weekend were busier than I expected, and I struggled to get good pictures.

Carrot cake is not only good for Easter, though, it is a fabulous dessert for any occasion.

one pieceIt might be a great dessert for Mother’s Day later this spring or for someone’s birthday. The cake is moist and full of warm spice and the cream cheese frosting is a classic favorite. Carrot cake lovers have their preferences, and you can tweak this recipe to fit yours. Some people like walnuts; others like pecans. You can choose either. Some people hate raisins while others can’t imagine carrot cake without them. Again, you choose to include them or not.

I have experimented with this recipe for several years and now have a recipe that works in the Colorado Springs altitude. When I first made this cake, it tasted great, but it completely fell in the middle after baking. Now I have a cake that tastes fabulous and bakes up perfectly. inside Easter

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Carrot Cake

*I made a double batch of this recipe, so most of the pictures depict the extra quantity of ingredients. My pictures also include two different bakes, one with a 9 inch round cake and one with two 9 x 13 cakes.


For the cake:ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 cup white sugar (I go a little scant as an altitude adjustment)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (I go a little scant as an altitude adjustment)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I go a little heavy-handed as an altitude adjustment)
  • 1 cup cake flour (I go a little heavy-handed as an altitude adjustment)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons¬† baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8-10 ounces crushed pineapple, drained (I usually make a double batch of the recipe, so I use one 20 ounce can)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • (optional: 1/2 cup raisins)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: garnish with additional chopped or whole nuts or with candy or colored frosting.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you plan to turn the finished cake out onto a cake board, serving platter, or cake stand, line the bottom of your pans with parchment paper and then spray one¬† 9 x 13 cake pan or two 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray (Baker’s Joy) or grease and flour the pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, and vanilla. eggs and sugar
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon.dry ingredients
  4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 2-3 additions and combine well.
  5. Stir in pineapple, carrots, raisins, and chopped nuts until evenly distributed.
  6. Pour batter into pan(s) and bake on the middle rack for approximately 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add powdered sugar in 2-3 additions, mixing on low. When all has been added, add vanilla and then beat on medium to medium high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Frost the cooled cake. Garnish with additional chopped nuts if desired.

Source: Cake adapted from and frosting from Brown-eyed Baker

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