The Best Carrot Cake

Every time I bake a cake I gain more and more respect for people who can frost and decorate their cakes to be picture perfect. I always have this grand idea in my head that the frosting will come out smooth and seamless, but it never does. So what's a girl to do? Cover the cake with pecans and sprinkles of course!

I don't have too much to say about this cake, except YUM. I thought it had the perfect amount of spice. It was perfectly moist. And the cream cheese icing... to die for! It is the perfect carrot cake and I will look no further for a carrot cake recipe!

I got the recipe off of allrecipes because it had good reviews (and a lot of them!), but I changed a lot after reading some of the reviews. I subbed some oil for applesauce, added some crushed pineapple, and changed the spices around a bit. When I went to add the nutmeg (one of the last steps), I realized I was out. I did, however, have Pumpkin Pie Spice which contains nutmeg so I figured "what the hell?". No regrets!

The recipe called for a 9x13 inch cake but I used three 6" rounds and got a nice tall, small cake. Either way I'm sure it will taste amazing!

Recipe: Adapted from AllRecipes
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3.5 cups confections sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, oil, sugars and 3 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in drained pineapple. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and extracts. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.


Jennifer said...

I LOVE carrot cake! This looks incredible!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what scrumptious pictures! I do love carrot cake. I make a cake similar to this one, but I don't drain the pineapple and lower the fat by a 1/4 cup. Then add a bit of cardamon to the frosting, you'll love it! Can't get over your artistry. Very nice. Thank you

Lorie said...

I just saw this recipe link off of and think it looks delicious--Love me anything with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting!

This is my first time on your site, and I was so surprised to see in your profile that you are from Happy Valley!! I am as well (born and raised) and, as I am studying abroad for the semester, it was nice to see your location and make me feel just a bit connected to my home :) Thanks Sugarcooking!

Linda said...

Picture Perfection may be overrated!!

I prefer food that looks like REAL food - and this cake is gorgeously appetizing!

Smart CoOKie said...

I tried this one before. It was very good.

Susan said...

I have a different carrot cake recipe that I love. This one is fairly similar.
I also mix some drained crushed pineapple into the cream cheese frosting. It's another way to dress up the cake. No one expects perfectly smooth icing if there is pineapple in it!

A Bowl Of Mush said...

This really looks like an amazing carrot cake! Love the way you decorated with the pecans!

Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said...

I know exactly what you mean about not being able to be perfect with cakes as you want to be. Yours looks pretty awesome though!

Great idea with the pineapple. I've made a carrot cake before with a whole orange (including rind) and I loved what it did for the flavor. I'll be curious to add some pineapple in the future.

Liesl said...

I love carrot cake! This recipe sounds (and looks) delicious!

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