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Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Miso Raisins

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Miso Raisins

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Elevate your holiday dessert ideas with this recipe from pastry chef Daniel Skurnick at Buddakan in New York City.


For the carrot cake

  • 10 Ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil
  • 12 Ounces sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 Ounces finely shredded carrots
  • 4 1/2 Ounces crushed pineapple

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 7 Ounces heavy cream
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 25 Ounces cream cheese
  • 20 Ounces butter, softened
  • 20 Ounces confectioners' sugar

For the pickled raisins

  • 8 Ounces rice wine vinegar
  • 6 Ounces sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white miso
  • 8 Ounces golden raisins


Calories Per Serving1290

Folate equivalent (total)89µg22%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg19.7%

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake

Tender, moist and rich with that wonderfully nostalgic flavor of yesteryear! We use a secret method that makes this cake EXTRA moist! This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe is simple to make and is simply perfect!

This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe is made differently than most: It holds the secret to a richer texture and a superbly moist crumb. That secret is to cook and puree the carrots before adding them to the batter. Give it a try and we think it will win you over!

I’ve always loved carrot cake. One reason is because it gives me a convenient excuse to enjoy a sinfully thick layer of irresistible cream cheese frosting. I have to admit, a repressed fantasy of mine is to take an entire bowl of cream cheese frosting, grab a spoon, sit down in a comfy chair, and have at it. Have you ever experienced that urge? I’ve never mustered the courage to do it. Maybe someday. Someday when calories no longer stick to hips and thighs (HA!).

Or perhaps I’ve never given into the urge because cream cheese frosting, as irresistibly wonderful as it is, really is at its best when it’s “on something. And there’s no better “something” than carrot cake. Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting pair together so exquisitely they define the very definition of match made in heaven.

To save you a little time, you can toast the walnuts and cook/puree the carrots well in advance. You can also make the frosting a day or two ahead – just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before spreading it onto the cake. The rest of the cake prep is a breeze.

This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake has a feel of “yesteryear” about it which I love with the inclusion of mace, a spice that was extremely common generations ago but is virtually unheard of today, the touch of orange zest, and its simplicity of preparation. Enjoy a slice with a glass of cold milk and you’ll be in heaven!

Ingredient Notes

Vegetable oil - I always make this loaf with vegetable oil and I do recommend it, as years of making this loaf has proven it works perfectly. Other oils, such as canola oil or Sunflower may work, though I haven't tested them myself. Olive oil wouldn't be recommended as it will introduce a flavour to the loaf. Finally, butter, either room temperature or melted, may possibly work, but I have not tested it and I would expect that it would change the texture and shelf-life of this loaf.

I know that we tend to think of cooking oil as generally interchangeable, but the type of oil used can make a different in baking recipes like this one. For guaranteed success, use the recommended oil.

Carrots - Of course, it wouldn't be a carrot cake without carrots :) While any carrot will do, I do like to pick up some fresh, organic carrots if I can, for best flavour.

White sugar - sugar in baking recipes perform more of a role than just sweetening. It contributes both to the texture and moistness of the finished loaf. While it may be possible to reduce the sugar successfully, it generally comes at some cost to the quality of the finished loaf. I always recommend using the specified amount of sugar first, and then, if desired, slightly reduce in subsequent bakes, until you find the sweet spot for you.

Walnuts - Nuts are optional in this cake, but do offer some nice flavour and texture to the loaf. I generally use walnuts, but pecans would work nicely as well.

If you don't want to use nuts, but the idea of raisins or coconut appeals to you, you could add 1 cup of either, in place of the nuts.

Cream cheese - You can use either full-fat or fat-reduced cream cheese here, though you may find you need less confectioners' sugar with the reduced fat cream cheese, so keep that in mind when mixing the icing.

You will also need - All-purpose flour, eggs (2), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, butter (for the frosting), vanilla and icing/confectioners' sugar

Recipe Summary

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x12 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.

Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.

Pour into prepared 8x12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with toothpick.

Ebooks by Cakewhiz

People have strong feelings about the use of pineapples and nuts in this cake.

Some people love them and some hate them.

Based on my research, carrot cake with pineapple and nuts, especially walnuts is the CLASSIC version.

I know this cake is usually considered to be an Easter cake or Easter dessert but honestly, it can be enjoyed throughout the year at birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings and other celebrations.

I combined 3 family recipes to come up with this TRADITIONAL carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe.

It even got the seal of approval from my Mom and Grandma, who are both excellent bakers.

Raisins are a traditional staple, and go all the way back to Medieval European carrot pudding. However, carrot cake has come a long way since then, and we love options! Not everyone likes raisins, and we don’t think that should stop you from enjoying carrot cake. So, if you are a traditionalist and enjoy raisins, add them! You do you! If you typically don’t like raisins, then you probably won’t like them in carrot cake either, and you can omit them.

We think homemade cream cheese frosting really makes this carrot cake go from amazing to over-the-top delicious. However, if you are crunched on time and need an easy shortcut, you can use a canned cream cheese frosting.

How to store the best carrot cake ever?

This carrot cake should be refrigerated after making because of the cream cheese frosting. If you have a sealed cake dome or cake carrier use that to keep it as fresh as possible. Otherwise, just tightly wrap it in tinfoil or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. This cake will keep well in the fridge for up to 7 days (although I guarantee it would NEVER last that long).

You can make the cake layer in advance, turn them out of the pan and allow the carrot cake to cool completely. Once the carrot cake is cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Next time you want carrot cake, simply whip up the cream cheese frosting and use the frozen cakes as you would a fresh cake!

Argh I’m so excited for you all to try this ridiculously good cake too! I just KNOW you’re going to love this recipe for the best carrot cake ever just as much as I do!

Recipe Summary

  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 10 inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 servings 1 x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Perfectly moist and bursting with bits of carrots, this is the perfect traditional Carrot Cake recipe. Topped with a smooth cream cheese buttercream, you’ll want to make this classic over and over again.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, slightly cold
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chopped pecans and toasted coconut, for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper, if desired.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, combine the eggs, vegetable oil and applesauce and mix until completely combined. Add both sugars and continue to mix for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the well drained pineapple and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until mostly combined.
  6. Add the carrots and coconut and stir with a spatula to incorporate.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared baking pans.
  8. Bake in the oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes.
  9. Let the cakes cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. (If desired, and for easier frosting, you can wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap once they are cool and freeze them. Remove from the oven about 20 minutes before you are ready to frost the layers.)
  11. When the cakes have cooled completely, make the frosting.
  12. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until it is smooth and light. Start adding in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all of the sugar has been mixed in. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream and the vanilla and salt. Scrape down the bowl, and beat to combine. If needed, add the additional tablespoon of cream. Beat the frosting on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  13. To decorate, place one cake layer down on a serving platter or cake stand. Add a dollop of frosting and smooth over the layer. Add a second layer of cake, then more frosting, followed by the last cake layer. Spread a crumb coat (or a thin layer of the frosting) over the entire cake. Refrigerate or freeze for about 15 minutes, then continue to frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
  14. If desired, decorate with chopped pecans and toasted coconut.

Recipe Notes:

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide. Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.


  • Serving Size: 1/20 of cake
  • Calories: 574
  • Sugar: 55 g
  • Sodium: 263 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 87 mg

Keywords: Carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, easter dessert, layer cake

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @tasteandtell and hashtag it #tasteandtell or leave me a comment & rating below.

Favorite Carrot Cake

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 slices 1 x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

This carrot cake recipe will become your new favorite! This moist and delicious carrot cake is easy to make with basic, wholesome ingredients. It’s the best! Recipe yields one double-layer 9″ cake.


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled and grated carrots* (about 4 cups )
  • 1 cup raw pecan or walnut halves
  • ¾ cup mild extra-virgin olive oil** or melted coconut oil
  • 1 ¼ cups maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 4 eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Double batch classic cream cheese frosting or naturally sweetened cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 9″ round cake pans. If you’re making classic cream cheese frosting, don’t forget to pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge so they can warm to room temperature.
  2. Toast the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, transfer them to a cutting board and chop them into small pieces. Reserve a couple tablespoons chopped pecans for garnishing the cake, if desired. We’ll stir the rest into the dry mixture in the following step.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir until blended. Add the grated carrots and chopped pecans, and stir to combine.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully blended.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a big spoon, just until combined (a few lumps are ok). Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and spread the batter in an even layer on top.
  6. Bake the cakes on the middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center of the cakes is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the baked cakes on a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting.
  7. When you’re ready to assemble, prepare the frosting as directed. Carefully invert the cakes to release them from their pans. Frost the top of one cake with about one-third of the frosting. Place the second cake on top, and frost the top with another one-third of the frosting. Finish by frosting around the side of the cake with the remaining frosting. If desired, sprinkle the reserved chopped pecans on top.
  8. When you’re ready to serve, use a sharp chef’s knife to carefully cut the cake into slices. The cake will keep at room temperature for the rest of the day, and for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.


Recipe adapted from the easy carrot cake in my cookbook, Love Real Food (page 208).

*Carrot tips: Skinny-to-medium carrots (not large) offer the best carrot flavor. The easiest way to grate your carrots is in a food processor with the grating attachment. You can also grate them by hand, on the medium holes of a box grater. Don’t use store-bought matchstick carrots they’re way too thick and will make your cake crunchy.

**Olive oil note: I recommend California Olive Ranch Everyday for this recipe. It’s an affordable, high quality olive oil that you can find at most grocery stores, and the flavor is so mild that you will not detect it in the finished product.

Flour substitutions: If desired, you can make this cake with a total of 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.

Make it gluten free: Substitute your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.

Make it nut free: Simply omit the pecans.

Make it dairy free: Use a non-dairy milk (I’ve confirmed that almond milk and oat milk work in this recipe). Use a dairy-free cream cheese frosting (I haven’t come up with one yet).

Make it naturally sweetened: The cake itself is naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey. Top the cake with my date-sweetened cream cheese frosting for a cake free of refined sugar.

Egg note: I’m sorry to report that this is not a candidate for egg-free baking. I’ve tried this recipe with flax eggs in place of the real eggs, and they did not provide enough lift to counteract the weight of the carrots.

Pan size notes: You could make these cakes in 9″ square baking pans, no adjustments needed. You can also cut the recipe in half to make one 9″ round or square cake. For other pan sizes, keep the baking temperature constant and bake until the center of the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean (timing will depend on the pans used).

Make cupcakes: Divide the batter between 2 dozen muffin cups and bake at 350 for 18 to 24 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Recommended equipment: (Affiliate links) I love my 11-cup food processor and these round cake pans, which have a non-toxic silicone coating.


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