Recipe Directions

Carrot Cake
Prep Time 45 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins
Servings 16

Carrot Cake



  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egss, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pure apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated peeled carrots (3 or 4 medium)
  • 1 cup shredded peeled sweet potato (about 1 large)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, taosted
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • Garnish:

  • 2 cups chopped pecans toasted
  • Three 9 inch cake pans
  • Electric mixer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 cake pans. 
Make the Cake Layers:
Put the butter and the brown and white sugars in a large bowl and cream together until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl.In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients in thirds to the butter mixture, alternating with the apple juice.  Beat for 45 seconds after each addition, and begin and end with the flour mixture.  Scrape down the bowl.  Stir in the carrots, sweet potato, apple, pineapple and pecans, and blend thoroughly.  Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto the racks and let cool to room temperature.  While the layers are still warm, brush each with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. 
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Put the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat until smooth using the electric mixer on medium speed. Scrap down the bowl.  Add vanilla and lemon juice, and beat until combined.  Gradually beat in the sugar on low speed until well blended and smooth. 
Assemble the Cake:
Place a cake layer on a serving plate with wax paper under the edges and spread the top with a thin layer of frosting. Place a second layer on top and it with a thin layer of the frosting.  Place the remaining layer on top and frost the sides of the cake.  Spread the remaining frosting over the top.  Remove the wax paper.  Garnish the sides of the cake with the chopped pecans, pressing them gently in with your hands.  Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour before serving.