Carrot Cake
Author: inspired by: Carolyn Quick Tillery
Prep time: 50 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 ounces coarsely grated carrots
  • 1-1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 8 or 8¼ ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cream cheese frosting:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 – 9” cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Place flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl and blend together. Add carrots, oil and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Add pecans, pineapple, vanilla and lemon juice and stir. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in 350° oven for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove pans from the oven and cool on a rack in pans for 10 minutes. Flip pans out onto another cooling rack and then invert cakes to cool completely on a rack.
  5. For the cream cheese frosting:
  6. Place butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla into large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until blended and increase speed to beat mixture until smooth and creamy, scraping down bowl as needed.
  7. Before frosting cake, level off cake halves with a serrated knife. Place cake layer, trimmed side down, on a serving plate. Spread 1¼ cups frosting over top. Place second cake layer, trimmed side down, over frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over the top and side of cake.
  8. Place strips of wax paper under edge of the cake, extending them over the edge of the serving plate. Apply the toasted pecans onto the side of the frosted cake. Remove wax paper strips. Refrigerate until set.
  9. Betsy's tidbits:
  10. I prefer to frost the layers when the cake is very cold or frozen briefly as this prevents crumbs from spreading into the frosting.
  11. The wax paper strips allow for an easy cleanup.
  12. If desired, reserve 2 tablespoons of frosting to pipe a star onto the middle of the finished cake. Cut a corner off a freezer bag and insert star tip. Once cake is frosted and pecans are on, place reserved frosting into bag and pipe star. Place a toasted pecan in the middle of the star.
  13. Allow cake to sit outside refrigerator for an hour before serving.
Recipe by Desserts Required at