Carrot Cake

by Rachel on January 27, 2010

An Exemplary Carrot Cake

This is my mother’s carrot cake recipe.  I swear this is the easiest cake to make, ever.  The prep time is about 15 minutes, even if you’re inefficient and trying to get two children to do their homework while you’re making dinner AND a carrot cake at the same time (not that I ever try to do that many things at once).  It is super lush and moist, just like good carrot cakes should be.  But I must say just one thing.  This is NOT a good carrot cake.  No, this is an exceptional, outstanding, exemplary carrot cake – one that will bring you accolades from your friends and awe from your neighbors (assuming you’ve actually met your neighbors – and if you haven’t, this is the perfect time to do it – and take over a little piece of cake when you go).

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 3 ½ ounces shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix together the eggs, oil, and buttermilk until thoroughly blended.  Add the sugar gradually, and the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds (or quarters or fifths – just don’t dump the whole thing in at once for heck’s sake) stirring until just blended.  Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts, one at a time, stir until blended.

Placed the mixture in a 9 by 13 greased cake pan.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  The edges will start to pull away from the sides and a cake tester should come out clean.  Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.  Store leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator.

Optional – Top with lemon cream cheese frosting as follows:

  • 4 ounces light cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (is is really important to sift the sugar – otherwise you’ll have frosting that looks like cottage cheese – not so good)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Mix together until spreading consistency (add more powdered sugar or lemon juice as needed).

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick Hall January 27, 2010 at 10:04 am


My girls make your carrot cake often and I am sooooo glad they do. It’s moist, nutty and not too dense like heavy fruit cakes can get.

Rock on !

Rachel January 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

That is so good to hear. I’m glad they like the carrot cake AND that they make it for you. You are one lucky Dad, aren’t ya?

Irina January 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I make the carrot cake in a more traditional way. I like your recipe – with the drained pineapples and the coconut!
Great photo too!

Best wishes,

Rachel January 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for the compliment. Try this recipe – it is so moist! Is there a link to your “more traditional” recipe?? I’d love to try it.

Jenny January 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

That cake looks delicious! I will definitely be making this soon.

Rachel February 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm

So, did you try the Carrot Cake yet? I hope so!!

Christina November 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I’ve made this carrot cake a few times and am completely obsessed – I will be making it forever. Thanks so much for sharing!

Rachel November 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Dear Christina: Thanks so much for telling me! I’ll tell my Mom. She’ll be thrilled!


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