Cake & Cheesecake | August 7, 2009

Laurie’s Amazing Carrot Cake

Your new favorite carrot cake just in time for the Easter season! It’s moist, it’s rich in flavor, and it has a sweet cream cheese frosting that you’re going to love. Get ready to grate a whole bunch of carrots for this incredible cake recipe.
Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake
Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake

Remember “Laurie and Amy’s Amazing Chocolate Cake” ? Truly, the best dense chocolate cake in the world. According to me. Well, Laurie also makes this off-the-chart delicious carrot cake. It is hands down the best carrot cake. In the world. Trust me. I know carrot cake.  Laurie has made this about a hundred times and perfected the recipe. The only wedding reception in the history of mankind where all of the cake was eaten, was a wedding I catered, and Laurie made this famous cake. True story. We ran out of cake. No leftovers for the bride’s family to try to pawn off on every person who comes over for a visit in the week following the wedding. Nothing. All gone. Every last crumb.
So here it is. Her secret to a moist, but not too greasy carrot cake is buttermilk and lots of…CARROTS. Brilliant. Look at most carrot cake recipes and you’ll find a huge amount of oil, and not so much carrot. The other thing that makes this recipe stand out is the grinding of the nuts and raisins together.
This makes a HUGE cake, so unless you want one really large cake, split the batter into two 9 inch pans and two 8 inch pans. Freeze the smaller layers for a rainy day. You can also just half the recipe and use two 9 inch pans. I’ve done that lots of times with this cake and it still comes out perfectly delicious. Start grating!
Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake

Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons soda
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cloves ground
  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups raisins and / or 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries

Prepare pans:

  • 2- 10 inch Spring form pans
  • or
  • two- 9 inch round cake pans and two- 8 inch round cake pans.

Instructions

  1. Beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk together in a large bowl. 

  2. Grind the pecans and raisins in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse until chopped into very small pieces.

  3. Add all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts and raisins to the wet ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. 

  4. Pour into greased and floured pans, lined with parchment or wax paper. Only fill pans 3/4 full. 

  5. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour if using 10 inch Spring form pans. Bake for about 45 minutes for round pans. Test with toothpick to see if done before removing from oven. 

  6.  After removing from oven, wrap each layer individually with saran wrap and place in freezer while still warm. 

  7.  Remove after cake is cooled and frozen, and apply one layer of frosting. Layer the cake on a platter. Return to freezer. Let cake refreeze until frosting is firm.

  8. Remove and frost outer sides and top of cake again. At this point you can either place back in freezer until ready to use, or let sit out to thaw. 

  9.  If making the cake in advance, cover when frosting is hardened and store in freezer.

  10. On day of serving, remove cake from freezer at least three hours before serving. You may decorate with lemon leaves around base of cake.

Recipe Notes

Tips: -Freezing the cakes while still warm helps lock in the moisture and keeps the crumbs from getting in the frosting. -Turn the cake so the flattest side is up when frosting and putting cakes together. -This cake stays moist and fresh for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 1 cube butter not margarine
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla I used 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice instead
  • pinch salt
  • about 6 cups powdered sugar
  • cream or milk to thin about 3 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese. 

  2. Add flavoring, salt and about 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix well. 

  3. Add rest of powdered sugar and milk or cream to desired consistency. Frost as directed.

  4.  If you are making 4 layers, I 1/2 this recipe again so you will have enough to frost all four cakes.

  5. One batch of frosting is enough if making either 2 -10 inch spring form cakes, or just frosting 2- 9 inch cakes and keeping the smaller 8 inch cakes in the freezer for later use.

Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake

24 thoughts on “Laurie’s Amazing Carrot Cake

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  1. I have to say hands down, carrot cake is my favorite cake…something I could eat over and over! Yours looks darn good, and that icing…torture just pure torture!

  2. Nice cake! I might try it again with whole nuts and raisins instead of ground. I don't think freezing the cake made it any more moist but it was easy to frost. I also loved the frosting but now I can't remember if it's because I used lemon juice or maybe it was the salt. Why do I always wait so long between making something and writing about it? I forget the important details.

  3. I made this cake last night and it was hands down the best carrot cake anyone had ever had! Thanks soooo much! It was awesome.

    I made my frosting with lime juice and rind instead of vanilla, delish!!

  4. Can anyone tell me where I went wrong? My cake did not hardly rise and was so dense-to top it off when we cut into it. It was like solid play dough. I went over each step and cannot figure what I did wrong. Thanks in advance

    1. Kim,
      I’m so sorry this cake didn’t turn out for you. It’s such a fantastic recipe. Could the Baking Soda be expired? Try adding 1/4 tsp soda to 2 tsp vinegar and see if it bubbles up. Don’t give up on this recipe! It’s a keeper.
      Thanks for reading ABK,
      xo
      Si

  5. Hi Si!
    I want to make this for Easter and I’m wondering if I can minus the nuts and raisins and still have success?!

    1. Hi Cailey,
      I wouldn’t recommend it…the nuts and raisins are not in huge chunks, not sure if you have an allergy or just worried about not liking the nuts and raisins. If its not an allergy, I promise you will love this recipe! Every time I make it I get recipe requests. It’s truly the best carrot cake Ive ever eaten. And the grinding of the nuts and raisins make them hardly detectable!
      thanks for reading ABK
      xo
      Si

  6. Made this cake while watching conference sat… just grating carrots forever it seemed. Loved the taste of the cake, but it cooked more like a quick bread was very wet. It was dense, super moist, but no individual crumbs like a real cake. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? I’m for sure trying it again!

    1. Jeanny,
      If you have a food processor, you can grate the carrots that way next time! It is a very dense cake. Very moist. I don’t think you did anything wrong. I’m hoping to get my directions up soon for 1/2 this cake. I have also baked it in loaf pans and frosted with the cream cheese frosting for giving away. it also freezes very nicely!
      thanks,
      Si

    1. Caity,
      Go ahead and make this recipe – cut the ingredients in half exactly. It will make 2-9inch pans and it will taste wonderful!
      I have made half this recipe with success, but haven’t posted it yet. Send me a pic of your finished cake and I’ll post to my Instagram!
      Yum.
      Thanks for reading ABK.
      xo,
      Si

  7. Another AMAZING recipe! I make carrot cake once a year for my dad for his birthday. I followed the recipe using milk combined with vinegar since I didnt have any buttermilk on hand and frozen cranberries slightly defrosted before I processed them with the pecans. Turned out FABULOUS! Everyone loved them! Thanks Si!

    1. Kali,
      I’m glad this recipe worked out so well for your celebration! Happy Birthday dad!
      Thanks for your positive comments and your input – 24 cupcakes for half a batch. That’s good to know.

      xo,
      Si

  8. I made this cake for a birthday party and it was a huge hit! I wanted a sheet cake so I halved the recipe and made it in a jelly roll pan (baked at 350 for about 25-30 mins). I did not half the frosting. Such an easy, fool-proof recipe. Everyone was sad there were not two carrot cakes to eat. Thanks, Si!

    1. Whitney,
      I’m glad this worked so well for your party. I love this cake recipe! Thanks for your tips on baking in a jelly roll pan, I’m sure other readers will find this helpful. Thank you for your positive feedback and thanks for reading ABK.
      xo,
      Si

  9. I made this cake for my grandma’s 80th birthday party and she said she could die happy after eating it (ha)! I have made it several times for her birthday since then. I think she is sticking around to eat cake. Our family loves this recipe!

  10. This recipe is amazing. I used lemon juice instead of the vanilla extract for the frosting and loved that substitution. I actually made carrot cake cupcakes- baked at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Everyone raved about them! I did half the recipe and it made 28 regular sized cupcakes.