• Carrot Cake the Ultimate

    21 votes
    Carrot Cake the Ultimate
    Prep: 30 min Cook: 50 min Servings: 16
    by Amos Miller
    101 recipes
    What a way to eat your vegetables! I work hard, try to eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and watch my weight. I also absolutely love a great carrot cake, so what are ya gonna do...?. This looks like alot of stuff, but it is just some dry and some wet ingredients. Do not be deterred! Press on! This recipe has everything going for it, vegetable, fruits, nuts, grain, spices. This recipe is loaded with all the stuff I personally love in a baked dessert - and should drive diners to distraction because it releases an aroma that matches it's unmatchable flavors. I must add a disclaimer here that I have no vested interest in the carrot industry, because it sure sounds like I'm hyping carrots. This is simply a delicious dish. Remember that the applesauce, the pineapple and the carrots bring sugars to the party, so you may certainly cut back a bit on the brown sugar - as much as a 1/2 cup. It could be a perfect food. It could also be dessert. Tonight. Get it together and get busy. Time to craft the Ultimate Carrot Cake.


    • THE CAKE:
    • 3 c grated carrots - box grater, on the large, round hole side (about 12 med. carrots)
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 c dark brown sugar, packed (like it less sweet? Use 1- 1/2 c)
    • 1 c pineapple, crushed, well drained
    • 3/4 c canola oil
    • 1/2 c applesauce
    • 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts
    • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
    • 2 c all-purpose flour (message me for a perfect gluten-free flour blend)
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
    • 8oz cream cheese
    • 3-1/2 c confectioners sugar
    • 1/2 c sweet butter, softened
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
    • NOTE: Since I am usually knee-deep in our excellent pure Michigan maple syrup, I am adding 1/4 c. to my frosting this time, and omitting the vanilla


    1. THE CAKE:
    2. Preheat the oven to 350^.
    3. Butter or Crisco and flour the inside of a 9x13 cake pan
    4. In a large bowl combine and whisk together the eggs, oil, carrots, applesauce, brown sugar, vanilla extract, pineapple and chopped nuts (the wet stuff)
    5. Combine and whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon (the dry stuff)
    6. Gently incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients - not too much mixing, just combine and distribute the ingredients evenly
    7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes and test for done with a clean toothpick
    8. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely on a rack
    10. Combine the butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl (if you'd like, add several drops of red and yellow food coloring to creat a delightful orange frosting)
    11. Beat until smooth and creamy
    12. Fold in the nuts (or save them to sprinkle on top of the cake)
    13. Frost the cake

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    • A.L. Wiebe
      A.L. Wiebe
      I love a good carrot cake, Amos, and this looks to be a winner. I have made a lot of carrot cakes, but never with apple sauce.
      I don't have apple sauce, but I do have some apple butter that I made last fall. I imagine that it would be just as appropriate if I cut down on the cinnamon and nutmeg.
      • Amos Miller
        Amos Miller
        If there is nutmeg in your apple butter, then you can cut back. The key to your dicision should be to close your eyes, taste your AB and imagine the cake - if your chef's instinct says the AB has enough, go for it. The applesauce is actually both a substitute for an additional measure of oil - and a moisturizer for the cake. I find many times carrot cakes suffer being too dry. I'm sure you've made applesauce cake and know exactly what I'm talking about. The applesauce is also a bit healthier and adds another texture to the dish. Please let me know, and if it work for you, post it here with your variation. We also produce an apple butter, so I can give it a try, too!
      • Amos Miller
        Amos Miller
        Thanks for asking, Laura. I have made this exact cake using 1-1/2 cups of Formula #2 of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), combined with 1/2 cup of Domata Living Flour. The result is a cake virtually indistinguishable from one made with all-purpose flour. Really. Just like in the photos.

        Now I need to tell you how to make your own batch of CIA #2. You need to buy the following, and to make it simple, I'll give you a small batch which will provide 9.5 cups of #2. You can also cut my recommendation in half, but this is a very useful flour.

        20 oz of white rice flour
        14 oz of brown rice flour
        6 oz potato starch
        8 oz tapioca starch

        That's it for the #2 - note there is no xanthan gum, so we need to hold things together. That is where the Domata comes in. We buy Domata in large amounts and it is an exceptional GF flour, and, generally speaking, MAY work perfectly as a 1 for 1 substitute for gluten flours in most recipes, but in this carrot cake, I feel it is a bit too heavy.

        Domata contains: rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca dextrin and xanthan gum.

        If you cannot obtain Domata in your location, seek out a GF blend with the ingredients I have listed. I do not know the blending proportions for Domata, which, I am sure, is proprietary. However, they are wonderful people and can be reached in the following ways: [email protected];, or telephone 417-654-4011. They are located in Missouri, USA and ship all over. We love 'em! Let me know how you fair and give us your review!
        • Elaine
          Terrific carrot cake!! FIVE stars from this kid!! :)

          shared on Facebook... Thanks, Amos! :)
          • annie
            I love this cake thanks for sharing the recipe
            • Amos Miller
              Amos Miller
              Thanks, Annie - so happy you liked it - I'm sure the kids did, as well! Good to hear from you.
            • Judit Hogya Demcsak
              Judit Hogya Demcsak
              I love carrot cake! Thanks!
              • paristarr
                Hi Amos,

                I seldom get to post here as busy with my cooking classes, and my new Grandson.
                Your carrot cake recipe is wonderful...I do not care for nuts so I used coconut instead and it came out really moist. Do you know if I can purchase Michigan Maple syrup in Ontario? We usually go to Quebec and get it.

                As always, another great recipe Amos.
                • Douglas Iderima
                  Douglas Iderima
                  albeit,not cooked or eat the this cake i think it will make or pass for a great eat
                  • molly11
                    hmmmm awesome!
                    • Denise Sherin
                      Denise Sherin
                      My father-in law loves carrot cake I can't wait to make this for him. It looks so yummy!
                        i'm cooking this tomorrow - sounds amazing - may add a few changes to icing
                        • Redneck Mike
                          Redneck Mike
                          I will try soon


                          • ShaleeDP
                            I like baking cakes and would like to try doing a carrot cake soon. this might be a good recipe to follow.
                            • Aparna Anurag
                              Aparna Anurag
                              thanks for sharing ultimate carrot cake :-)
                              • Ritz Martin
                                Ritz Martin
                                Carrot cake fan here. This one looks great.
                                • Amos Miller
                                  Amos Miller
                                  TRY THIS FROSTING: If you'd like to try a great frosting on my Ultimate Carrot Cake, but want something w/o cream cheese, I love to use this one:

                                  3 C confectioner's sugar
                                  1 Tbs orange zest
                                  1 Tbs lemon zest
                                  1/2-3/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice
                                  In a large bowl, combine the ornage and lemon zests with the confectioner's sugar
                                  Add the orange juice, a little at a time, until you get the consistency that you want
                                  You don't want it too thin, so really work the frosting with your spatula
                                  You can balance the consistency by using more confectioner's sugar or a little more orange juice.
                                  Pour frosting on top of the cake and allow it to randomly drizzle over the sides, all around, creating a very nice presentation
                                  You can chill the cake for a few minutes to 'harden' the frosting a bit
                                  • Mae
                                    Omg, can't wait to make this and I will definitely post the result.
                                    • judee
                                      I'm with Bev on this one. I love carrot cake , but am doing WW as well. Any ideas??
                                      • Amos Miller
                                        Amos Miller
                                        Hi, Judee - perhaps you missed my reply to Bev - "Bev - I've compared the nutritional facts for my recipe with those of a weight watcher's recipe for a carrot cake, and while they are not in total harmony, they are not all that far apart. I have friends who follow - and are leaders - in Weight Watchers. May I suggest that you follow my recipe and consume a smaller portion or make a regular portion a special treat and cut back elsewhere. Good luck - especially with the smaller portion idea..." However, Judee, You could substitute low sugar applesauce, reduce the amount of brown sugar and cut the nut amout by 1/4 C. A drizzle of a confectioner's sugar and citrus frosting also reduces your burden - as would a low fat ice cream and no frosting at all. However, as my friends in the WW program have told me, they simply cut their portion in half (not easy, I'm told) and take it as a special treat and they compensate with a bit more exercise. I really have compared WW nutritional stats with those on the C-E-S breakdown, and they are not too far apart. I wish you luck - and I know you'll take me to task for not being more helpful - but, perhaps at your next family event, you can make the cake as is and just have a sliver as you watch, as I have, folks who hate carrot cake devour a portion and tell you it is like no other and they love it... I always love to hear from you, be well but remember: "All things in moderation (even WW)" :-p
                                      • Amos Miller
                                        Amos Miller
                                        New variation. Substitute 1/2 C apple butter for the 1/2 C apple sauce. We make several 'varieties' of apple butter, but just a plain apple butter is a real nice addition to this cake. Loved it!
                                        • Amos Miller
                                          Amos Miller
                                          Thanks, Annie - so happy you liked it - I'm sure the kids did, as well! Good to hear from you.
                                          • A.L. Wiebe
                                            A.L. Wiebe
                                            Hi Amos;
                                            I finally had the chance to make this carrot cake. As I've stated before, I work in a fishing lodge for the summers, so am away from home for 3 months. Before I leave for work every spring, I use up or give away my baking supplies in the house just so they won't be stale or useless when I get back home in September. Then when I come home, I start going through new recipes to try, so get to go shopping for all fresh stuff (This is pretty long-winded I know)
                                            The first recipe I had to try was this Ultimate Carrot Cake of yours. Omg, was it worth it!
                                            I've said it on Facebook and I'm saying it here: This is, seriously, the very best carrot cake I've ever made or tasted! There are a lot of ingredients, but I don't recommend skimping on a thing.
                                            Thank you, Amos, for sharing this and keep those fabulous recipes coming. You make me look like a genius when I use your recipes!
                                            • Amos Miller
                                              Amos Miller
                                              Thank you so very much, Chef Wiebe - both for the wonderful comment and also for taking time out of your busy day to post it. This makes me very happy. What could be better than to know one has added a bit of sunshine & spice to another's table!
                                            • Laura Cox
                                              Laura Cox
                                              Hi, could you give me the wheat free carrot cake receipe please?

                                              Thanks so much.
                                              • Amos Miller
                                                Amos Miller
                                                Hi, Laura - Look above, just under the recipe for the wheat-free formulation. Message me if you have any questions. This cake was eaten by wheat-eaters who could not tell it was a GF cake.
                                              • Amos Miller
                                                Amos Miller
                                                Catherine - I do hope you will make this for your daughter and then let me know what she thinks. The best judges of carrot cake recipes are carrot cake lovers. I have sampled scores over the years - there are even friends who will bake a carrot cake if I am coming as a dinner guest. This recipe, however, "takes the cake", with what I am told is a perfect balance of moisture, density and sweetness. Unlike an applesauce cake - you'll never know there is applesauce in this one, the pineapple is unobtrusive, but adds to texture, the dark brown sugar is not as cloying as molasses, yet brings that deep rich color, and the spices are just there. Let me know, as I know you will!
                                                • Catherine Pappas
                                                  Catherine Pappas
                                                  How delicious!! This sounds wonderful- my daughter absolutely loves carrot cake!
                                                  • annie
                                                    I love carrot cake I've made it with whole wheat flour to
                                                    • Daniel Saraga
                                                      Daniel Saraga
                                                      Looks so great. Not a light and fluffy cake, I'm guessing. But with a cream-cheese frosting, who cares!
                                                      • Bev Jennings
                                                        Bev Jennings
                                                        I am on the weight watchers plan could you modify this for me Thanks Bev Jennings Canada
                                                        • Amos Miller
                                                          Amos Miller
                                                          Bev - I've compared the nutritional facts for my recipe with those of a weight watcher's recipe for a carrot cake, and while they are not in total harmony, they are not all that far apart. I have friends who follow - and are leaders - in Weight Watchers. May I suggest that you follow my recipe and consume a smaller portion or make a regular portion a special treat and cut back elsewhere. Good luck - especially with the smaller portion idea...
                                                        • A.L. Wiebe
                                                          A.L. Wiebe
                                                          Great picture!
                                                          • Claudia lamascolo
                                                            Claudia lamascolo
                                                            I love carrot cake and the applesauce must make this so moist?!
                                                            • Amos Miller
                                                              Amos Miller
                                                              Hi, CL - great to hear from you! The applesauce replaces what would be an equal measure of canola oil, but also adds another level of texure and a touch of moisture - not to mention a little more nutrition. I hope you'll try one of my recipes and review it. I'd love your input. I'll put up some photos. Some folks will add raisins, which I also like, because they also add a touch of moisture. The downside is trying to keep the cake from becoming too 'heavy'. I think if I were to add raisins to this recipe, I'd probably soak them in heated brandy or a reduced pear liqueur to plump & flavor them, The plumped raisins would then take the place of the applesauce, and that might just balance it all out nicely. What do you think?

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