Fool Proof Carrot Cake!

I baked my first carrot cake in college.  My boyfriend (now husband) was coming to visit me for the weekend and it just so happened to be his birthday as well, so I set out to bake him the perfect cake!  I had called his mom and she had informed me that carrot cake was his absolute favorite so I bought a cookbook, and got started.  Nothing shows love like a homemade cake, right?  This particular cake turned into a complete labor of love.  My college kitchen was rather ill-equipped and the oven had seen better days.  What should have taken an hour and a half to bake at the most, turned into a six or seven hour ordeal!  I was hand grating carrots, beating and whipping ingredients by hand since we didn't have a mixer.  I give lots of credit to the our fore fathers because hand whipping cream cheese frosting is strenuous! When I finally got the cake in the oven I thought that I could breath a sigh of relief.  Unfortunately, the cake took over 4 hours to bake.  I am pretty sure it was a combo of the pan that I used and the oven malfunctioning.  I was delirious when this carrot cake was finally finished and scared that it would end up being a total failure.  As it turned out, it was the BEST carrot cake ever.  I sent the rest home with my boyfriend and his family devoured it.  This recipe has been a go to ever since (only it doesn't take me 6 hours to make! ha!).  Everyone who tries it requests the recipe!  I told you this long drawn out story, not to scare you out of baking carrot cake but to show that this recipe is basically fool proof!  You cannot mess it up!  This cake actually gets better with age so feel free to bake it a day or two in advance, frost it, and store it in the fridge (bring to room temperature before serving).  

Here are some of my personal tips when it comes to baking:  

I have three basic rules when it comes to baking.  First of all, always sift your dry ingredients because it makes for a lighter baked good.  Secondly, DON'T over mix your batter!  If you do, you will end up with a dense and tough product.  I usually mix until the ingredients have just come together.  Lastly, never follow the cooking time listed on a recipe because all cooking times will differ based on the oven being used.  If a recipe says the baking time is 50-60 minutes, I check it at the 45 minute mark and then every 5 to 10 minutes.  There is nothing worse putting your heart and soul into a baking project only to end up with hockey puck in the end!  

Spectacular Carrot Cake

1 1/2  cups of oil (I use canola)
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
2 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of Kosher salt
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 cups of shredded carrots
2 cups of flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2-3 cups of confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 or 2 tsp. of hot water, if needed 

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, cream together the oil, sugar, and eggs.  In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Add with the remaining ingredients to the egg mixture, and mix until ingredients are well combined.  Pour into a 9x13-inch cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar.  If your frosting is too stiff, add one teaspoon of hot water at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe from the cookbook, Specialties of the House by Julia M. Pitkin


  1. Looks great Becky! Must try this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I am sure you will love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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