First, I want to thank you guys so much for all your thoughts and well-wishes for our family over the last couple of weeks! My husband’s gallbladder problem turned out to be more serious than they originally thought and he wound up in the hospital for a week, so I appreciate Sara picking up my slack last week while I single-handedly kept our local gas stations and fast food restaurants in business. He’s home and doing much, much better, thank goodness!

ANYWAY. This is the awesome dessert I was going to post before everything went downhill.  We have a great, easy carrot sheet cake in our book that we love, but this is the carrot cake for celebrations and murder by sugar. This is my friend Jeni’s (who I always seem to be stealing recipes from) trademark cake, and it comes from my all-time favorite all-purpose cookbook. Abolish any notions that carrot cake is in some way good for you because this one is definitely not. I’ll try to be better, I promise.

You’ll need your typical cake-making ingredients–flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Then you’ll need cinnamon, carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, and coconut. And butter. And we haven’t even gotten to the frosting.

Preheat your oven to 350. Now…this is where things get interesting because I improvise depending on what I can find in my super-disorganized cupboards strikes my fancy creatively. The recipe calls for 3 9″ round pans. I have 2 8″ round pans. I have 1 9″ round pan. I have 3 square 8″ pans. However, there is not enough batter to fill 3 8″ pans (I’m sure someone who’s awesome at math can explain that one to me). Jeni uses 2 9″ round pans and uses the extra batter to make a few cupcakes, but I ended up using 2 8″ square pans and it worked fine. Whatever you do, you just need to keep an eye on the cakes (a good idea in any situation because so many factors go into cake doneness).

So yeah, grease whatever pans you’re using. As an extra precaution, you can line the greased pans with wax or parchment paper–it’s not a bad idea because these cakes are heavy and dense and the paper will help you get the cakes out of the pan easier. However, it’s not 100% required. If you use paper, lightly grease and flour it and set it aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla in a large bowl at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Fold in the carrots

and then fold in the pineapple, coconut, and pecans.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Now this is where things get evil. You know our buttermilk syrup? Yeah, we’re pretty much going to drizzle a slightly undercooked version of that all over the cakes.  While the cakes are baking, combine the buttermilk glaze ingredients (below) in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the syrup is light golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the cakes are done baking, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Drizzle the warm buttermilk glaze over the cakes and allow the cakes to cool completely.

To make the frosting, you’ll need butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  You can also add a little almond extract if you like it. Which I do.

Beat together the softened cream cheese, butter, and extracts.  Add 3/4 lb. of powdered sugar and then test the frosting–if you like it sweeter and softer, add a little more, but I really like a pronounced cream cheese flavor, so I go easy on the sugar. I know you’re shocked.

Tear four thin strips of wax paper or aluminum foil and form a square on the plate that you’ll be serving the cake on. Place a layer of cake on top of the strips.Gently ice the top of the cake layer and then add another layer (repeat if you have three layers).

Ice cake completely with remaining frosting. Decorate with extra coconut and pecans if desired. I desire it because I’m a horrible cake decorator and it hides all my mistakes.

For best presentation, it’s better to refrigerate the cake overnight and then let it return to room temperature before serving.

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81comments

  1. 1

    Sort of regretting clicking through now… ;) Carrot cake is my absolute favorite, and I’m not a fan of cakes, really — but I am a huge fan of cream cheese frosting and would probably eat anything if it had enough frosting on top. I might have to try this one out, even though it completely messes with my “healthy” carrot cake reasoning! Oh, and by “might have to try” I mean scanning my cupboard contents for ingredients right this very second. Blerg!

  2. 2
    Dena says:

    This looks very good! I’m glad your husband is home now. I’m sure you had a stressful week!

  3. 3

    (PS So glad your husband is doing better! See what happens when my vision gets clouded with cream cheese frosting? I forget the important stuff!)

  4. 4
    Leslie says:

    I love love love carrot cake. I’m making this scrumdiddlyumptious (thank you, Willy Wonka, for words that accurately describe foods with this magnitude of yum!)cake this weekend. It’s totally happening. And, incidentally, I clicked on the link for your fav cookbook. . is it really $129?!?!

  5. 5
    Jeni says:

    Muahahaha! This cake is so evil. But, sometimes evil is a good thing;) Where’s my invite for cake and a diet coke?

  6. 6
    Barbara says:

    Glad to hear your hubby is doing better.
    This looks like a dark delicious carrot cake….a winner among so many colorless carrot cakes one sees. Copied it already!

  7. 7

    It’s good to hear your husband is doing better!

  8. 8
    Katherine says:

    This looks delish! But I hate eating pineapple any way except fresh. Can I omit the pineapple in the cake and will is still turn out okay?

  9. 9

    There’s nothing I love more than a good carrot cake and yours looks just fabulous, Kate. What a wonderful, classic recipe! I have got to try this sometime this season.

  10. 10
    mjfluke says:

    I am with all the other folks – I LOVE carrot cake. Adding buttermilk to the recipe is sheer genius. I am excited to give this new recipe a try – right after I buy more flour (all used up on bread and cookies!!) Thanks and hope your hubby is back on his feet soon.

  11. 11
    Diane Du says:

    My family thinks it is not a true carrot cake if it does not have raisins in it as well. Would a cup of raisins be enough for this amount of batter or is it too much? I am concerned with the raisins absorbing the moisture and making the cake too dry.

    Thanks for another great recipe! I am glad to hear your husband is on the road to recovery and you can breath now.

  12. 12
    Amy Drorbaugh says:

    Ugh, living in hospitals is the worst! I gained 10 lbs when my son was in for a ruptured appendix. Glad you guys are doing better. :-)

  13. 13
    Nicole Peck says:

    I absolutely love carrot cake and yet I’ve never made it. Thanks for this recipe!!

  14. 14
    Jamie M. says:

    There is a local place that makes the best carrot cake, we were trying to dissect what was in it and I am pretty sure it was all these ingredients. Thanks for saving me lots of time trying to perfect a recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

  15. 15
    Angela Koch says:

    I have made this recipe several times. The best carrot cake ever!!! I did tweak it and added 1 Cup of Golden Raisins. I dazzled my friends with this cake and they just rave about it.

  16. 16

    I really should try to make a carrot cake some time. This one makes it seem rather intimidating though, maybe it’s just because it uses a lot of ingredient and that trasnlates to problems when you have like 2 feet of counter space in your kitchen.

  17. 17
    Lauren says:

    Good grief! I can see it on my hips now. I’ve decided that this will be my birthday cake this year. Yum yum!
    So glad to hear that your love is home and getting better. :)

  18. 18
    Katie says:

    I am so excited to try this! We had carrot cake for our wedding cake because my husband loves it (don’t worry, we had chocolate cupcakes on the side!) and I have looked and looked for a yummy recipe to make on our anniversary or maybe just this week because, hey…we can still be all in love and stuff even if it isn’t our anniversary, right! So thanks! (You guys are seriously my go-to girls when I need inspiration. Yesterday I was going to make roasted potatoes for dinner and I was lookin’ in the spice cabinet to try to decide what to put on them and then I thought…why think about this. You know OBB probably has some super yummy recipe you could make work. And…. you did! I love it!)

  19. 19
    mandie says:

    Wow. this looks delish. Kate, I’m pretty sure I knew you in Logan. congrats on your successes :)) and keep inspiring me!!

  20. 20
    Jacqueline Gorbutt says:

    Could this just be made in a 9″x13″ pan, for one layer?

    • 20.1

      You know, I probably wouldn’t. It’s pretty dense and I think the edges would be done way before the center (I even experienced a little of that in the 8×8 square pan).

  21. 21
    Mary says:

    Ln your buttermilk glaze, you have 1/2 butter. Is it 1/2 stick butter or 1/2 cup butter? Thanks

  22. 22
    Rivki Locker says:

    So glad that you and hubby are back in commission. Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts, but I’ve never had it with pineapple or coconut. What brilliant flavors to combine.

  23. 23
    Karmen says:

    This is what I call the “Utah Carrot Cake”. We have a family recipe that is also to die for but I am from the south so no pineapple, no coconut, no glaze, BUT my Sister’s MIL has a recipe almost identical to this one (she is a born and bred Utahan :)hence my nickname… and it is super yummy! Carrot Cake is my favorite cake next to chocolate of course ;)

  24. 24
    macus! says:

    Wow! that looks delicious!!!

  25. 25
    Brittany says:

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Also, I’m so glad that Sam is back on his feet and back at home. love you!

  26. 26
    Pam says:

    Nothing nicer than a new, fresh recipe for the always wonderful carrot cake! This one appears to be absolutely delicious!

  27. 27

    Oh, this cake…..

    I want it.

    Glad to hear that things are getting more back to normal for you.

  28. 28
    Wendy Perkins says:

    We had carrot cake at our wedding too! And hubby’s birthday is coming up next month. I see carrot cake in our future… if I can manage to wait that long!

  29. 29
    Ali says:

    This looks great…can’t wait to give it a whirl. I don’t know if my family loves carrot cake though. That worries me a bit…an entire cake for just me! I usually don’t mind indulging but that could spell trouble.

    Hope all is well.

  30. 30

    Wow, this looks like the ultimate carrot cake! Looks so good!

  31. 31

    Kate and Sara –
    I just wanted you to know that my sister, Patti, enlightened my mind with your website. Then she won tickets to see you in Utah and invited me, but since I live in Illinois, I couldn’t make it. Dang. But I have since purchased 3 of your cookbooks, kept one and gave the other two away to some of my girls. Now I am going to buy two more to give to more daughters! BUT, here’s the cool thing: my co-worker tasted my mint chocolate brownies that I made and brought to work for someone’s birthday, and she wanted the recipe! So I brought in your cookbook and showed it to her. She kept it for 4 days – over the weekend, has ordered a copy of her own and her friends and some relatives also LOVED the cookbook and have ordered it from Amazon.com! So, even Illinois is filling their kitchens with your cookbook! Thank you for sharing it with us!
    from a Mormon Girl turned Grandma!!
    LynnEl Springer – Champaign, Illinois

  32. 32
    Annie smith says:

    Thank you so much for NOT putting raisins in your Carrot Cake! My husband abhors them. And I really need to make him a yummy treat since he bought me your book for Mother’s Day. Isn’t he sweet? ; ). Actually he’s a real keeper for 30 years and beyond!

  33. 33
    Erin says:

    I love Carrot Cake and I think this looks like the “one” as far as carrot cake recipes go. Thanks.

  34. 34
    Patti says:

    Glad to hear that Sam is out of the woods. He should stay out of the woods! Okay, this cake is pure evil. You’re killing us here, Kate! I still have Sara’s chocolate cake from last week’s post in my fridge and now you do THIS to us? Divinely evil.

  35. 35
    Tasha says:

    I just came across your blog from Food Gawker and I love it! You have a really good design scheme! It’s very cute. Simple and clean yet cute!!

  36. 36
    Valerie N says:

    I love a good carrot cake so I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe! And I feel so bad for your hubby but glad he’s doing better. I was in the EXACT same boat with my gallbladder this past February. I had to go in to the hospital immediately and was in for a week. I feel his pain! And yours bc I’m sure it was stressful for you too!

  37. 37

    I love carrot cake! I use carrot baby food in mine and it is quick and easy!

  38. 38
    Kimberly Reading says:

    If you only make a double layer cake instead of three layers as it says it makes in the recipe, do you pour the entire glaze onto the two cakes even though it is enough for three?

    • 38.1

      You can do it either way. In theory, you can use the same amount because it’s still the same amount of cake, just distributed differently. However, if you want, you can always scale back.

  39. 39
    Karli says:

    So I’m dying to try this ASAP, but I’m slightly confused about the tinfoil. Why 4 strips? At what point did you remove the tin foil since it’s not under the finished product? Also, when you put take the cakes out of the oven and place them on the cooling rack are they supposed to be removed from the pans I’m guessing? Thanks for helping a novice out :) You’re the best!

    • 39.1

      Karli–Hahaha, yeah, things were kind of falling apart as I was photographing this recipe, so I didn’t get as many pics as I wanted! So you need to make a square with the four strips of foil on the plate and then you put the bottom layer on top of the foil. That way, when you frost the cake, the excess frosting goes onto the foil instead of the plate and then you can easily slip the foil out from under the cake after you’re done frosting it (as opposed to trying to clean the frosting off the plate or getting a whole frosted cake off of a whole sheet of aluminum foil.

  40. 40
    Shayla C says:

    So mine did not look as pretty!

  41. 41
    HELEN G NELSON says:

    I have the carrot cake supreme in the oven. Do you have the nutrition information on your recipes? I found you through my daughters and know that I will love your recipes. Keep up the delicious recipes and may continued success be yours.

    • 41.1

      We have it on a very limited number of recipes, but we’ve chosen not to include it because it only led to heartache and pain. Seriously. :) I guarantee you that you don’t want to know how many calories are in this recipe, haha!

  42. 42
    Cheyenne Renard says:

    I just love the recipe for carrot cake. I pray your hubby is feeling much better and doing much better also . Thank you again for this great blog Keepin the faith Love to you all and gods many blessings too Love Cheyenne Henderson Nv Summit ward

  43. 43
    Kristina says:

    This is by far the best carrot cake I’ve ever had! I’ve made this 3 times now and everyone that’s tried it loves it and asks for the recipe.

  44. 44
    Michelle says:

    Made this for a party last night, it was awesome! I used two 8″ pans, worked great and looked beautiful. It took 35-38 minutes in my convection oven for the deeper pans.

  45. 45
    Kelli says:

    I made this a few nights ago and it is by far the best carrot cake I’ve ever had! We made ours in a bundt pan just because I didn’t want to clean 2 pans later. The kids thought it was super special and we all thought it was DELICIOUS!!

  46. 46
    Linda Gruber says:

    What do you think??? Can I just make this recipe into cupcakes? Would I pour a little glaze over each cupcake, or just leave the glaze out?????

  47. 47
    Karrah says:

    This is an amazing recipe! Made them into cupcakes and they turned out just great!

  48. 48
    Kristy says:

    HI!!
    Can you use your buttermilk glaze on any kind of cakes?

  49. 49
    Cassi says:

    I don’t know if you’re still answering questions on this post but I wanted to make this for my grandma’s birthday and she’s worried that the grandkids who don’t like coconut won’t eat/like it. Can you taste the coconut (and does it keep its texture) when its baked into the cake?

  50. 50
    Nancy Varvara says:

    This recipe looks amazing and I’m wondering if I would be able to make cupcakes instead of the cakes with this recipe? I think the glaze may be a little hard to do with the cupcakes, but I think it should still work. I’m just wondering about the density that you commented on earlier.

  51. 51
    Leighla says:

    I just wanted to say that this cake is THE BEST carrot cake recipe I’ve ever tried. Hands down! And I’m a tough critic ;) I was a bit skeptical by the pineapple, but don’t let this fool you — the results are rich, sweet wonderfulness.

    The only thing I do differently is to top it with maple cream cheese frosting. All you need to do is to sub the vanilla for about 1/4c. maple syrup and it’s just divine.

  52. 52
    Martha says:

    Re the amount of dough for a 9″ round pan vs 8″ square pan: 3 x 8 x 8 = 192 sq in
    3 x pi x 9 x 9 / 4 = 190 sq in. Easy, see???? LOL . . . Nope, I don’t get it either; had to have my engineer son explain it to me.

  53. 53
    Heather says:

    Could I make these cakes ahead of time and freeze them? I have to make 3 cakes for Easter dinner lol

  54. 54
    Eman Eldahrawy says:

    Like carrot cake …Used to make it with another recipe…but this one looks really delicious …will try it and tell you the result ..Thank you <3

  55. 55
    Kimberly Kolo says:

    Wish I could post a picture!! Just made this for my Hubby who swore off sweets for Lent..he’s counting the minutes until midnight! One adjustment I made was to decrease the baking soda in the glaze..other than that, it was a joy to make!!

  56. 56

    I really like classic carrot cake, but these looks so interesting! It must be delicious to!

  57. 57
    Shannon says:

    I LOVE carrot cake and am still on the hunt for THE best carrot cake. I think I may have found it! I’m the only carrot cake eater in the house (the rest of them are crazy), does this recipe half well? Thanks!

  58. 58
    Rachel Chandler says:

    The MOST DIVINE carrot cake I’ve ever had! With bushels of carrots from my garden on hand I decided to
    try out a few different recipes, this is by far the best. Only a few slight changes, additions I picked up from other recipes: I used a 1/4 teaspoon each of allspice, nutmeg, and ginger and an extra 1/2 tsp. each of cinnamon and vanilla. I also added 1 cup of raisins; use the juice from your canned pineapple to cover the raisins in a bowl, microwave for 3 minutes and let them soak till ready to use, drain and fold into batter at the end. This will make your raisins plump and soft, you can add a tablespoon or two of the juice to the batter. I also prefer to substitute walnuts for pecans, as I prefer them. Thank you best bites!

  59. 59
    Brianna says:

    I’m sorry if this question has already been asked-
    I’m throwing a cupcake baby shower for a friend, and she’s requested carrot cake cup cakes, could these be adapted to cupcakes? Should I just cut the cook time in half (or more) or should I reduce the temperature too? I’ve been looking on pinterest for carrot cupcake recipes, but they don’t look as yummy as your cake!

    • 59.1

      Hmmm…I’ve never tried making this into cupcakes. I’d keep the temp the same and then when it comes to time, you’re just going to have to keep an eye on them. Let us know how it goes!

  60. 60

    [...] 3. Carrot Cake Supreme [...]

  61. 61

    [...] inspiration for the carrot cake was adapted from Our Best Bites’ Carrot Cake Supreme. It’s an awesome site, I really LOVE it. It’s a wonderful source of inspiration too. I [...]

  62. 62
    Stacey says:

    Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes? If so, how long should I cook them for? Thank you!

  63. 63
    Stacey says:

    Ugh, disregard I just saw your response to Brianna above about the cupcakes. Sorry!

  64. 64
    Sam says:

    Made this for our Easter family lunch. AWESOME. BEST CARROT CAKE EVER!!! Thanks ladies!

  65. 65
    Amber says:

    This was AMAZING! I was worried the glaze would make the cake soggy and mushy but trusted you guys and I’m so glad I did. It was the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely be making this every Easter! <3

  66. 66
    Megan says:

    Quick question: when do you take the cakes out of the pans here? Do you pour the buttermilk glaze on while still in the pans or after taking them out, when they’re on the wire racks (in which case I imagine you’d want to put something underneath them to catch excess drippage)?

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