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The Ultimate VT Carrot Cake

A surprise ingredient—puréed baby food—gives this supermoist cake amazing flavor. Recipe by Fiona Kennedy.

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Set Name: 

Carrot Cake

Ingredients: 

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2 cups plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
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2 tsp. baking powder
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1 ½ tsp. baking soda
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1 tsp. salt
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2 tsp. ground cinnamon
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½ tsp. ground nutmeg
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½ tsp. ground cardamom
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1 cup vegetable oil
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1 cup packed light brown sugar
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1 cup sugar
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4 oz. carrot baby food
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1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
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1 tsp. vanilla extract
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4 large eggs
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3 cups coarsely grated carrots (can be shredded in food processor), from about 6 carrots
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1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
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1 ½ cups crushed walnuts

Ingredient Set Name: 

Frosting

Ingredients: 

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1 ¼ cup whipping cream
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8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
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2 ½ tsp. lemon juice
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1 tsp. vanilla extract
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¼ tsp. salt
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1 cup crushed walnuts, optional

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Butter paper, and dust with flour.

2. To make Carrot Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Beat oil, both sugars, baby food, ginger, and vanilla extract until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add flour mixture in two additions. Add carrots, pineapple, and nuts; beat just until blended. Divide batter between cake pans and bake 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Cut around edges to loosen using small knife. Invert cakes onto rack, remove paper, and cool completely.

3. To make Frosting: Beat cream until soft peaks form; set aside. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream in 3 additions. Refrigerate.

4. To assemble: Up to 4 hours before serving, place one layer on cake platter. Spread 1 cup Frosting over top and cover with second layer. Spread Frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle sides with crushed walnuts, if using.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
560
Protein: 
7 g
Total Fat: 
34 g
Saturated Fat: 
10 g
Carbohydrates: 
60 g
Cholesterol: 
94 mg
Sodium: 
462 mg
Fiber: 
2 g
Sugar: 
44 g
Yield: 
Serves 16

Comments on this Recipe

This is the best carrot cake I've ever had!!

I made this recipe into cupcakes. Plus, I added 1 cup of rasins.... It was very good, however, next time I'll add 1/4 less oil. By the second day, they were dripping with oil...

I made this when it first came out in the VT magazine. Loved it, especially the pineapple and that it was so moist. I misplaced that issue of VT and couldn't find it via the website (didn't come up with just 'carrot cake') so I had to make a special request. Got the recipe again & have saved it in various places! Love it still.

one thing that confuses me about this recipe: in the frosting instructions it says "combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt" but it doesn't tell you the portions for vanilla or sugar on the list of ingredients!

How much sugar do I use for the frosting? I need to know right now!

1 cup of light brown sugar for frosting, according to the magazine May/June 2006. I only used 1/2 cup and was happy with the results.

Can I use a 9x13 pan instead of the two 8 inch rounds?