Carrot Cake

The tandem recipe will be up later this week!

Back in the early part of this year (before his birthday in May), Fred saw a recipe entitled “Best. Carrot. Cake. Ever.”, and sent me the link to the recipe at Baby Gizmo, asking me to make it for his birthday. I did, and we both agreed that this cake is SO FRIGGIN’ GOOD that we (and by “we” I mean “I”) would be making it many more times.

Of course, the first time I made it I failed to take pictures of it, so y’all have been without this fantastic recipe due to my inadequacies as a food blogger (I almost referred to myself as a “food blogger” without rolling my eyes. ALMOST, I say. Okay, I didn’t even come close – I rolled my eyes so hard I got dizzy and almost passed out.) Last week was Thanksgiving, and when we were tasked with the job of bringing dessert to Thanksgiving, this is the cake that came immediately to mind.

(We also brought Sweet Potato Casserole and sauteed kale. I don’t have a recipe for the sauteed kale. It’s kale. You saute it. DUH.)

Firstly, gather your ingredients. These are just the ingredients for the cake part itself – there’s a whole other picture of the ingredients for the buttermilk glaze, and then a kind of half-assed picture of the ingredients for the frosting. (Why whole-ass it when you can half-ass it, I always say!)

Carrot Cake (2)

Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, vanilla, shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, flaked coconut, chopped walnuts.

But wait! Before you make your cake, you must line two round 9-inch cake pans with wax paper, then lightly grease them. I don’t know if y’all know this, but the best and easiest way to line cake pans with wax paper is to lay the cake pan on top of the wax paper, trace around it with a pencil, and then cut just inside the line. Voila! Perfectly sized! I greased the pans with Baker’s Joy spray, because it’s easy.

Stir your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) together in a bowl and set it aside.

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Then beat your eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla together until you have a smooth batter. Add the flour mixture (beat it on low, because you don’t want that shit to scatter everywhere). Fold in the carrot, coconut, pineapple, and walnuts (by the way, I expect that pecans would work pretty well in this recipe, too.)

Divide the batter between your two prepared pans, and bake. Now, here is where I ran into an issue. The recipe says to bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. It took 43 minutes for my cakes to be done. Checking the comments of the original recipe, other people ran into that same problem, so the printable recipe at the bottom is going to tell you to bake your cakes for 40 – 45 minutes.

While your cakes are baking, it’s time to make the buttermilk glaze. The ingredients:

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Sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, vanilla.

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Throw everything but the vanilla in a heavy pot over med-high heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring every now and then. Once it’s boiling, boil for 4 minutes, stirring often. It’ll get all bubbly and turn a golden brown color.

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When the four minutes of boiling is up, remove it from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

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When the cakes come out of the oven, pour the buttermilk glaze over the cakes. I used about 2/3 of the glaze – just cover each cake with a nice, thick glaze but don’t flood them.

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Leave the glazed cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely on the wire racks.

Now here’s a tip from me to you – when you dump the cakes out of the pans, immediately turn them back over so that they’re top-side (sticky-side) up. Otherwise, the top of the cakes are going to stick to the wire racks and you’re going to be SO annoyed.

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If I had flipped this over, there would have been 75% less cursing in my kitchen when it came time to frost the cake.

*Note: the original recipe has you slice each layer in half, so that you end up with 4 layers. I didn’t do that, because I didn’t think it was necessary. You can do it if you want to, but I don’t really see the point. Ordinarily I’d be like “you get more frosting in each piece that way!”, but no. It’s pretty perfect with two layers.

Once the layers are cool, time to make the frosting! Ingredients:

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Softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla.

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Beat the cream cheese and butter together until they’re creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add more sugar if need be – I ended up adding about another 3/4 cup of sugar before it was at the consistency I wanted.

Slap down one layer and frost it…

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Then the second layer.

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Fred was in charge of the frosting because I had other shit to do. I suggested that he color the frosting and pipe a little carrot on top to show everyone how fancy we are, but he didn’t do it. Hmph.

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So. Friggin’. YUMMY. And it was a hit at Thanksgiving dinner!

Carrot Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Is carrot cake a Southern thing? It might be!
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • ¾ vegetable oil
  • ¾ c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. grated carrots
  • 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3½ oz flaked coconut
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • Buttermilk Glaze:
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ c. buttermilk
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • ¾ c. butter, softened
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line 2 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour (or use Baker's Secret spray.)
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Add flour mixture (beating at low speed) until blended. Fold in carrot, coconut, pineapple, and walnuts.
  5. Divide batter between prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 40 - 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  7. WHILE CAKE IS BAKING, make Buttermilk Glaze. Bring sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup to boil in heavy pot over med-high heat. Boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  8. When cakes are done baking, drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over the top of the two cakes. Use about ⅔ of the glaze.
  9. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Then remove from pans and flip over so that they are sticky-side up (so cake won't stick to racks as they cool). Cool completely.
  10. Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat butter & cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add more sugar, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
  11. When layers are completely cool, spread with cream cheese frosting.



Carrot Cake — 30 Comments

  1. Waaaaaaay back when I was 13, one of my great-aunts brought a carrot cake to a family gathering. I recall NO ONE wanted to sample it: They were like, “Carrots in a cake, hummm, no thanks.”

    I volunteered and thought it was delicious. Others then ate some, and everyone was surprised at how good it was. But I never had a recipe. This one today looks luscious, definitely will try it maybe for Christmas gathering.

  2. That cake looks delicious, but I just want to point out…

    Robyn took KALE to a Thanksgiving dinner!

    She might as well have went out to the yard and pulled some dandelion weeds to take over. 🙂

  3. This looks delicious. I wish my husband liked carrot cake-but no such luck. I know if I made it, I would eat it all-and I am having enough trouble buttoning my jeans today 🙂

  4. Looks awesome – I will add it to my “to be made – someday” list 🙂

    BTW – who in the hell decides a cake serves 12? Really? TWELVE? How do you actually CUT a layer cake into 12 slice a cake without them turning into piles of mush – especially a super-moist & frosting rich cake like this one? (I just KNOW it’s super moist – I’ve actually had a similar recipe before. Made by someone else, of course!) ‘Cause I can barely cut a cake into 6 slices, and sometimes 8 – if I’m lucky and the cake is is dry and without a bunch of icing to stick to the knife.

    Inquiring minds (well, mine at least) would like to know. In fact, we’d (I’d) like to see you make it again, and see it in 12 slices! VIDEO!!!

    • Confession: I chose that number out of the air. I have ZERO clue how many servings we actually got out of it, it just seemed like a good number. 🙂

      Though I’ll say that it’s a very heavy cake, and too large a slice is going to send you running for the nearest couch for a nap!

      • Mmmmm… carrot cake & cream cheese icing. One of my top three favorite cakes (chocolate sheet cake & Red Velvet being the other two).

        And I have to admit I’ve never been able to slice a cake worth a damn either (it’s one of the reasons I like sheet cake so easy – you cut SQUARES). With a round cake, I always try to go all fancy-shmancy with the pie-shaped wedges, and it just goes all catywampus on me. (OTOH, I end up with lots of “crumbs” and icing to nibble on while I try to cut prettier slices!)
        I read somewhere the best way to slice a round cake is to cut it into quarters, then cut each quarter into individual slices instead of wedges. I’ve never tried it though because it always seemed like cheating 😉
        And it’s ALWAYS a good time for cake!!!!

  5. I really wish my husband liked carrot cake-because this looks delicious! Although my jeans are feeling quite tight after the Thanksgiving holiday, might need to lay off the yummy stuff for a bit 😉

  6. Is cake supposed to be crunchy? This cake looks crunchy.

    I can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to eat cake with both fruit and vegetables in it. But with enough sugar, I suppose even vegetables make good cake. 😉

    There are carrot cake lovers in the family who will be glad for the recipe (including my sarcastic, cranky self). Thanks!

    • It is not crunchy at all. It’s moist and flavorful, ya veggie and fruit hater!

      (It’s the “Buttermilk Glaze” that really makes it so damn good!)

  7. It looks yummy, but I have to ask – if you only need 2/3 of the buttermilk glaze, what do you do with the other 1/3? Can you just “guesstimate” (I know that’s spelled wrong, but “guestimate” doesn’t look right either and I’m out of options)and make less?

    • Well, I have to admit that the leftover buttermilk glaze sat on my counter and was eaten slowly (by the spoonful) over the rest of the day, but I don’t see why you couldn’t figure out the correct proportions and make less! It’d certainly be less wasteful (and cause far fewer naps!)

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