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This classic carrot cake recipe is based on the cult-favourite classic that comes from the Silver Palate cookbook. It’s the puréed cooked carrots that really separate this recipe from others and make it a winning dessert no matter which season you serve it in. Important note: you need to have puréed cooked carrots on hand when you begin the recipe; we have included the how-to in the note at the bottom of the recipe.

Classic Carrot Cake
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    For the carrot cake:
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 1 1/3 cups puréed cooked Ontario carrots
  • ¾ cup drained crushed pineapple
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • Two 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the cake: preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper and then grease again. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Fold in the coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes. Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours.
  4. To make the cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl, using a stand or electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Then gradually mix in the icing sugar until well combined.
  5. Fill and frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days but bring to room temperature for at least one hour before serving.


To make puréed carrots, place 2 pounds carrots (peeled and cut into ½-inch slices) in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid. Blend the carrots until smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid if needed to thin the mixture.

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