Surprise Carrot Cake

I never knew that I liked carrot cake. Before making this one, I don’t even think I’d ever tried carrot cake. Why would I want to put vegetables in my cake, anyway? Well, vegetables make delicious desserts – trust me!

This carrot cake was a surprise for two reasons: I baked it for a surprise party, and I didn’t have time to add any carrot-like decorations on the top, so it was impossible to know what kind of cake it was from the white-frosted exterior. Surprise!


The cake was a big hit, and I don’t think everyone would have eaten it just to make me feel good about my baking skills; I genuinely think it was delicious. The recipe is from, and since I don’t like baking with nuts, I left out the pecans.


For the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots

carrots david grating

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

combine ready to bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, flour, and line two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

cream cheese frosting!!!

  1. Frosting: in a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Frost the cooled cake. Put a layer on the top of one of the cakes (see tip); place the other cake on top, and frost the entire thing.

ovened frostinging

Tip: Enlist a helper to grate the carrots for you. It will cut your working time in half, easily.

Another tip: You have plenty of frosting; don’t skimp on the layer in the middle like I did.

done and done