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The Carrot Cake

Three times every year I make The Carrot Cake. It is beloved by my father and my husband, so I make it once for Father’s Day, once for Rob’s birthday in August, and once for my father’s birthday in November. I found the recipe in a cook book called “Heart of the Home” by Susan Branch, and knew after the first time I baked it that it was the Holy Grail of Carrot Cakes. It is beautiful, in a lumpy sort of way, moist, and transcendently delicious. It is not even remotely good for you (although it does contain carrots, raisins, pineapple and nuts) but if that’s what you’re looking for in cake recipes, I am not your best source.


Anyway, here it is (all editorial comments in carrot orange are mine):

Three-Layer-Carrot Cake

  1. 4 eggs, well beaten
  2. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1 c. packed brown sugar
  4. 1.5 tsp. nutmeg
  5. 1 c. white sugar
  6. 3 c. finely grated carrots (I use 1 bag of the grated carrots sold in the salad section)
  7. 1 and 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  8. 1 c. coconut
  9. 2 c. unbleached flour
  10. 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
  11. 2 tsp. baking soda
  12. 1 c. golden raisins
  13. 2 tsp. baking powder
  14. 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped (I don’t like walnuts, so I use pecans)

Preheat oven to 325. Oil 3 8″ cake pans. Set out 1/2 cup butter & 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese to soften (for frosting). Put pineapple in sieve to drain. Beat eggs in large bowl. Add sugars and beat until light & fluffy. Add oil & mix well with whisk. (I actually just do all of this in my stand mixer). Put in the dry ingredients & beat till smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients & pour batter into oiled layer pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted in center of cake. (Unless you are certain that your oven cooks evenly in all areas, I recommend rotating the pans at 20 minutes). Cool slightly and frost. (The frosting is thick, and will melt a tiny bit and spread better if you frost the cake when its still warm-ish).


  1. 1/2 c. butter
  2. 8 oz. cream cheese (the brick kind, not the kind in a tub)
  3. 1 lb. box powdered sugar
  4. 3 tsp. vanilla


Mix together till smooth. Frost between layers & on top. Try toasted coconut for decoration.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

4 responses »

  1. Yummmmm….this DOES sound like the holy grail of carrot cakes.

    Your blog this morning got me trying to remember what I have in my refrigerator and pantry to see if I can come up with the ingredients without a trip to the store.

  2. You can tweak a bit – I’ve used un-crushed pineapple chunks, un-golden raisins, slivered almonds…enjoy!

  3. Two thoughts: Sometimes real food at its best (like
    your carrot cake) is worth it. Sometimes th phantasy
    of a dietetically perfectly healthy that won’t be eaten.isn’t. Bring on Sam’s Dish.

  4. These are in fact wonderful ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant factors here. Any way
    keep up wrinting.


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