Carrot Cake Is a Classic

A moist center and sweet cream cheese frosting make for a timeless treat.

carrot cake recipe

Carrot Cake

Moist and sweet, carrot cake is a classic dessert that has been around for decades.

At first glance, carrots may seem like an odd choice for dessert, but a closer look at this particular rabbit food explains why its origins as a dessert ingredient date back as far as the Middle Ages and why this iconic cake tastes so darn good. Carrots are loaded with sugar. While the surprisingly high sugar content keep this particular vegetable off the Atkins approved list, it is spot on as the main ingredient in this moist and toothsome treat.

In Medieval times, conventional sweeteners were very expensive and hard to find. Root vegetables high in sugar like beets and carrots found common use in desserts and carrot pudding was a staple. The dessert evolved, falling in and out of fashion as the need for cheap and plentiful alternative sweeteners ebbed and waned. The modern take on carrot cake spiked during World War II in England when sugar rationing was in force.

Its popularity in the United States reached new heights in the 1970s when “health food” became the latest fad in a decade that brought us the pet rock. Although the cream cheese frosting pokes at the notion of carrot cake as “healthy” food, this restaurant favorite is here to stay.

Carrot Cake


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup currants

1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in mixer.

Add sugar and mix until well blended.

Add eggs one at at a time, allowing each to combine with batter.

Stir in carrots, currants and walnuts and ginger.

Divide batter into two greased and floured round cake pans.

Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes then turn onto rack to cool completely.


  • 1 ½ sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Beat butter in mixer until fluffy.

Add cream cheese and beat until fully combined.

Add sugar, ginger and salt and beat until light and smooth.

Cut the top from each layer of cake to flatten.

Frost bottom layer of cake, seat top layer and complete frosting.

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