Carrot Cake

February 20, 2012

I must confess that before this weekend, I had never made carrot cake.  Oh, I like it.  It’s a great cake when made right.  But I think that one of the reasons I’ve never made it is because of the frosting.  Many times the cream cheese frosting is too sweet.  Oh, and there is a restaurant in town that makes the best carrot cake ever.  When I’m in the mood for carrot cake, I just drive over there and order a slice to go.  That is, until now.

I found this Southern Living recipe after Chefs Catalog sent me a link about carrot cake.  It made me want to make carrot cake.  I searched and decided on the Southern Living recipe because the frosting didn’t seem overly sweet.  I was right.  Everyone thought this recipe was awesome.  This cake is so moist, it’s the buttermilk glaze.  The hardest part was grating the carrots, which I made sure to overgrate and freeze for the next time I make this cake.  I was pleased at how pretty it looked with little effort.

Oh, don’t let the coconut and pineapple throw you.  I was confused by these ingredients myself, but was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  And by that I mean if you don’t like coconut (and I usually don’t), you won’t know it’s there.  The pineapple is there to add moisture and allow the carrot flavor to pop.  I added raisins to the cake because I like raisins in my carrot cake.  Also, you can use walnuts, but I don’t like them so never buy them.

I served each slice with a drizzle of caramel, just like the restaurant.

Carrot Cake

  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 3/4 C Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 2 C Carrot, grated
  • 1-8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 C Coconut
  • 1/2 C Raisins, soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1 C Chopped Pecans, plus more for garnish

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C Buttermilk
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 T Corn Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 C Butter, softened
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 2 t Vanilla

For the cake:

Line 2 (or 3) 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the pans, set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside.   In another bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla to the eggs.  Beat until smooth.  Add the flour mixture, beat until well blended.  Fold in the carrots and drained raisins.  Add the pineapple, coconut and nuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the glaze:

Place the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup in a medium-sized sauce pan.  Over medium heat, bring mixture to boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the glaze evenly over each layer.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pans.  Once removed from the pans, cool the cake completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until creamy.  Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Spread the frosting on each cake layer.  Garnish the sides with crushed nuts, if desired.



  1. Carrot cake is my favorite kind of cake. This looks like a great recipe for it. I love the glaze added before the frosting. It sounds wonderful.

    • Nicole-
      The added step of the glaze is well worth it.

  2. I like the addition of buttermilk in this recipe, not to mention the glaze. Your cake turned out beautifully.

    Hope you’re having a good weekend!

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