Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carrot Cake Recipe

One of my favorite things about turning 42 year old is that I have a child who is mature enough to independently bake me the cake of my choice.  My almost 14 year old daughter approached me a few weeks ago and inquired about my perfect birthday cake.  Last year she made me an Oreo Cookie Cake, but this year she wanted something a bit more challenging.  After considering The Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake which I've been drooling over for two years and The Cake Mix Doctor's Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Fudge Marshmallow Frosting which is featured in my favorite cake cookbook, I remembered that I love carrot cake.  I had pushed this fact to the outer recesses of my mind because none of my kids thought that they liked carrot cake and I often make the family friendly choice, but not this time.

The conditions for my daughter preparing me a fresh Carrot Cake for my birthday were that I had to stay out of the kitchen and resist all urges to control her baking.  ("Seriously?  As if!")  My daughter gathered her ingredients and I headed to my bedroom where I had set up my own personal scrapbooking retreat.  I turned on the 80's music channel and tried to ignore the discussions between my husband and the teenage chief baker and pay no attention to the crash that I heard about twenty minutes into the birthday cake baking process.  I later discovered that my daughter chose the microplane grater or great grater, as she calls it, to prepare the carrots.  My husband suggested the box grater but they couldn't find a cutting board and the box grater slipped causing a mess.  She then went back to the great grater.  She grated carrots for 35 minutes!  Can you feel the love?

The recipe that my daughter was following comes from The Fisherman's Inn Cookbook which my husband had given to me upon returning from his recent trip to Maryland.  It is filled with good old Eastern Shore recipes as well as memories and history of one of my favorite restaurants, Fisherman's Inn.  The Carrot Cake recipe from page 332 calls for not only carrots, but also shredded coconut, chopped walnuts, and crushed pineapple.  It also includes my very favorite, Cream Cheese Frosting.

After a few hours of baking, a little bit of tidying, and only one minor catastrophe, my daughter presented my family and I with a beautiful and delicious Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I was already impressed with her confidence and poise in the kitchen, but after tasting my birthday treat I was overwhelmed by her skill.  My daughter can bake a cake!  It was luscious!  In fact, I would say it is the best Carrot Cake that I have ever had.  The cake was moist and flavorful with just the right amount of texture.  It turns out that the great grater was a wonderful choice for preparing the carrots.  Although my daughter's arm was sore for days, the finely shredded carrots were so delicate that they added nice carrot flavor without being tough and were palatable to even the youngest members of our family.

So far, being 42 years old is outstanding!  I have a family that loves me, a new cookbook that connects me to my home state of Maryland, and a daughter that can bake me any cake I desire, including homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
closely adapted from the Fisherman Inn's Cookbook by Betty Thomas Shulz

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Beat sugar, oil, and eggs with an electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, until flour mixture is fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and vanilla.
  6. Bake in two 9-inch round pans or one greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes (round pans) or 44-55 minutes (rectangular pan).  Cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on wire rack.
  9. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.  Add a tablespoon or two of milk if frosting is too thick.
  2. Spread over cooled carrot cake.


  1. What a delicious looking carrot cake. She did a fantastic job. My dad loves carrot cake and, naturally, we all love cream cheese frosting too. I'm doing a new linky on my blog starting this week Saturday called "Sweets for a Saturday." I'd like to invite you to come by then and link this beautiful cake up.

  2. How wonderful to have your daughter make a cake for your birthday. That carrot cake looks fabulous. Carrot cake with cream cheese icing is one of my weaknesses, so I'm going to have to save your recipe so I can make it in the future. Have a great day.

  3. YUM! I love carrot cake. Actually, I think it is more about the cream cheese icing for me. Just give me a bowl and a spoon...

  4. Carrot cake is my favorite cake!! Your daughter did a great job!

  5. I looooooove carrot cake. Delicious. And the cream cheese frosting. Love the heck out of it. YUM! Looks amazing.

    Visiting from Tidy Mom!

  6. Sounds fantastic. I should have kids -- it may be a 14 year investment, but then they can bake me cake whenever I want! :-)

    Nice of you to share these recipes. I’ve got an amazing carrot cake recipe from a dear departed friend, and it took literally years to convince my partner that we should share the recipe. Finally the ‘gag rule’ is off and I’m sharing the recipe with everyone — giving copies to my neighbors, posting it on my blog, you name it! I'll have to try your recipe and compare.

  7. Hi Heidi,
    We just love Carrot Cake and yours looks so delicious. Thank you so much for bringing it to Full Plate Thursday for us to enjoy. You have a great week end and please come back!

  8. I have been craving carrot cake all day. I wonder if I have time to make (and eat!) this before bed :)

  9. omg !!! i made this cake on the weekend and it turned out just like the one in the picture, i dont like carrot cake or cinnemon, but ive hate 2 slices!! its truly ....amazing, i now have to make more for others as theyve said its the best theyve ever tasted !! think ill sell these from home haha , thankyou for shring your amazing carrot cake well done !! will never buy one again

  10. hi there have made this carrot cake 3 times now and have been told its the best carrot cake theyve ever tasted, i have to agree its the bomb !! all i did though was change the vanilla essence for orange and it was amazing ! this one is for keeps , thank you so much for sharing, i certainly wont be sharing it haha