Saturday, March 24, 2018

Carrot Cake – So Good, I Make It Every 10 Years

If you were thinking we already did a blog post for carrot cake, you are correct, but we never actually did a video, since I was just testing out a written recipe for a side project.  I remember thinking this is a really good carrot cake, and I should film a video for it soon, which I did, 10 years later.

The only major change from the original is that I substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil.  I would love to tell you what the difference was, but I can’t remember.  Needless to say, this recipe would work with an equal amount of any other dessert-friendly fat, so don’t feel like you need to make any special trips to the store.

If you do go with the coconut oil, you can use a “virgin” coconut oil, which will have a fairly strong coconut aroma, and identifiable flavor, or you can go with a more refined coconut oil, which is virtually odorless and flavorless. I used the latter, but the former would be fine, if that’s what you’re into.

You don’t really need a garnish for the top, since that’s what the cream cheese frosting is, but if you did want to decorate with some candied carrots, simply slice them thin, and boil for a couple minutes in a syrup made from equal parts sugar and water. Accessorized or not, this cake would be fun to make for your Easter table, or just anytime you’re craving a vegetable-based cake, which is why I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for a 13 x 9 Carrot Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups white sugar
1 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 heaping packed cups raw finely grated carrots (or more for a moister cake)
1 can (8 ounce) finely crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the frosting (slightly different ratio from the old version):
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or to taste
about 3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste


Huda Suleiman said...

Mmm, Looks really yummy! Thanks you, Chef John!
Is the baking time different if I used half the quantity in a loaf pan?

Shiroi Hana said...

Wow! Your ears must have been burning! I have been going back to your cookbook (America's Family Favorite - Best of Home Cooking) many times this past week, waiting to make this very cake for an upcoming Easter dinner. Even mentioned it an hour ago to my husband and BOOM, there is the video you didn't post 10 years ago. Thanks! My hubby got me your book for Xmas, love it. Merci!! Funny enough though, I had not made the connection between carrots, bunnies and Easter but now I totally see it.

JWolfe said...

Wow! This looks absolutely yummy! I am definitely going to make this for Easter! Thank you Chef John!

raoul hendricks said...

5 cups of sugar... my diabetes is tingling

USMC-047 said...

Hi Chef John, love your recipe videos. I do have a question about the frosting. If one does not have a electric mixer, can one make the frosting by hand? You know, like stirring with a wooden spoon or just go to the store and by a mixer?

Joe F said...

So Chef John, if I leave the pineapple out, do I need more fat to keep it moist?

Chelle Copley 1967 said...

I've been looking at Carrot Cake recipes for over a week and wala, you read my mind again! lol I will definitely be making this in the next week.

TheLaVa said...

Is this recipe suitable to be made into cupcakes instead?

Mihai Valentin Plesca said...

Hello chef John,
Thanks for all the great recipes.
I've done quite a few of them and they all came out pretty good.
I have a small request, which probably have gotten a million times before.
Can you also add the quantities for the ingredients using the metric system (along side the imperial one), as it gets kind of a pain to always have to convert everything.


MG said...

How many cakes don't use vanilla?


Simple. Love the recipe. I made one few years back without egg. Didn't come out great. I want to try this one. Could you please suggest good substitute for egg?


Manish Prajapati said...

Got to try this one. I tried one last year without egg didn't come out great. Could you please suggest a good substitute for egg?


Stephanie said...

Hi Chef,

Is there any way I can reduce the amount of sugar without messing up the recipe too much?

tdalaska said...

Hi Chef -

Pineapple is an inspired addition to the cake. Have seen applesauce in other recipes, which brings little to the party flavor-wise.

I'm surprised you didn't add lemon juice/zest as an optional flavoring ingredient for the frosting. I think it works particularly well with carrot cake.

Thomas Hughes said...

Instead of the "other" fats, go ahead and try lard. Just before you say "EW!", try it! Breads and cakes with lard are completely incredible!

sjgkdgf said...


D. Carelli said...

Sesame seeds too

CC cc said...

We totally appreciate your post. We love your youtube Chanel and we are eager in trying out these new recipes.

Eileen said...

I made the carrot cake yesterday for family Sunday dinner. Everyone loved it... a lot! Chef John for the win, thanks!!

Mark Powers said...

So I made this cake with my daughters tonight and it smells awesome. When I took the cake out of the oven the middle of the cake sank down lower than the sides of the cake, but the center of the cake is cooked. I followed the instructions with the exception of adding the nuts . Does anyone know what went wrong? I don't have much experience baking cakes.

Tom said...

Hi Chef! Can you please post a recipe for shrimp saganaki? It's a delicious Greek dish of shrimp and feta cheese in a tomato sauce.
It gets its name from the small two-handled frying pan it is traditionally prepared in, the saganaki pan!

Adam Trojak said...

What kind of sugar do you use? Mine cake finished as "sugar and nothing else" in result...

Greeter said...

Chef John has a cookbook!!?? I looked up the title Shiroi Hana mentioned and don't see your name anywhere. Is that really you?

Michael Trevino said...

Followed the exact recipe for our family this Easter and it was a total success!
We love your videos and appreciate all that you do :^)

diss0nance said...

Easter bunny approved! I used melted vegetable shortening instead of oil (which gave the cake a nice density when cooled, though I guess not a very healthy option) with a 1/4c coconut oil instead of melted butter. I also used chopped fresh strawberries instead of pineapple and that added a nice fresh texture and light sweetness. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter and only used 1.5 tsp of cinnamon and decorated with sliced strawberries. Delicious!

LJay said...

Shirking Hana thanks so much for letting us know Chef John has a cookbook!!! He never told us?? I just ordered it and I also had to make a binder for all of his recipes that I print out. His recipes are fabulous and easy! Thanks again! LJay

Unknown said...

I made two of these in one week and, wow! It was excellent. I brought my second cake to work and it made a whole lunch room full of educators happy. Thank you!

Puka said...

My family requested a carrot cake for a party, and this was a big hit! I didn't have pineapple so I chopped up some frozen cherries, which worked just fine. Love all the chef John insights into frosting and chilling. The finished product was exactly as advertised and the cake was gone in a single sitting. Ps: fresh blueberries are a great decorating medium to top things off. :-)