Why-I-Joined-Zaar Carrot Cake

"On October 2, 2001, I discovered the Recipezaar Web site. I immediately joined so I could post a request for a recipe I had lost. In less than an hour, I had a reply: this recipe. Unfortunately, I never posted it into the database -- until now. My mistake. This cake was the reason I joined, and the friendly response I received was the reason I stayed!"
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Diane H. photo by Diane H.
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Ileana photo by Ileana
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  • Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Stir in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple. Pour into 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Don't panic, the centre will sink a little.
  • Allow to cool; when cool, ice the cake. You can certainly use your favourite cream cheese frosting to ice this cake, but the one I've included is highly recommended (I usually leave the cake in the 13x9 pan and just ice the top).
  • To make the frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the icing sugar and beat until creamy.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Leslie B.
    Why are your instructions to use a 9x13 pan and your photo a round cake ? I would think you could show both and give baking instructions for both sizes.
  2. VZERX
    What kind of nut can I use instead of walnuts? I am allergic to walnuts.
  3. Yvonne F.
    How many cupcakes will this recipe yield?
  4. ronna.rondy
    Would like to make this carrot cake for Easter however I want to use almond flour. Has anyone tried it with almond flour? If so did the twek the recipe? How did it turn out made with almond flour?
  5. Ella S.
    Can I use gluten free flour for this carrot cake recipe? If so, what kind or brand would you recommend? Thanks!


  1. gardeningRI
    Bye-bye bakery carrot cake, hello homemade! This recipe is amazing as written & we are so happy to have found it!!! We do make a few substitutions: sub whole wheat pastry flour, pare down the sugar to 1 1/4 cups, decrease oil to 1/2 cup & add 1/2 cup applesauce, and add 1/2 cup golden raisins. We prefer to bake this in 2 round cake pans for 30-35 minutes, though it works well as sheetcake & cupcakes alike. This recipe is fabulous as written & provides endless options for those who want to tweak it just so. Thank you for getting me out of the bakery & into the kitchen for outstanding carrot cake!
  2. Asian Sensation
    This recipe definitely deserves 5 stars! I made cupcakes instead and took them to work only to receive raving reviews. One lady said it's better than anything she could get store-bought. Some modifications I made after reading previous reviews: 1) applesauce instead of oil, 2) pecans instead of walnuts, 3) decreased to 1 cup of sugar 4) baked 18-20 minutes since I made cupcakes. Also, I let the dried coconut soak for about 15 minutes in boiled water. Then I strained it and added to the batter. That way the coconut is not as dry. Finally, I used a piping tip to swirl the icing on top...they looked absolutely delightful =)
  3. love2gardn
    Looking for a delicious cake recipe and came across this one. It looked like a carrot cake recipe I had clipped from a magazine many years ago, so I thought I'd check to see how it was different. I discovered it was the same recipe (although the frosting uses only 3 oz. of cream cheese), but noticed the directions were a little more specific for the cake. My recipe says to use sifted flour and then, before adding wet ingredients, says to sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Thought I would mention it as I think this helps to assure all of the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Additional comment (next day): Another change, I think that makes the directions clearer is to use sifted confectioner's sugar (called Icing sugar in the recipe) and also add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. It made a nice creamy easy-to-use frosting. I made my cake in two 9-inch round pans (baked for 40 minutes) and had plenty of frosting (using the 8 oz. package of light cream cheese) to frost both layers.
  4. Chef Shelly 1242723
    Well, after sitting and reading ALL 280+ reviews, I decided to make this recipe into cupcakes, to serve at my wedding in 2 days! I realized that I had NEVER made my fiance his favorite cake from scratch, probably because I didn't think I liked carrot cake - WRONG!. I just finished making 2 batches, and am thinking of making another, I am sure they are going to be a BIG hit! They are SO moist! I can't wait for them to sit a bit for the spices to come to full flavor. The preparation went quickly- after grating the carrots. I did incorporate a few changes as recommended in some of the reviews... 1) cut sugar to 1 cup, 2) 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce for half the oil, 3) added 1/2 tsp. nutmeg & 1/2 tsp. allspice, 4) added an extra 1/2 cup carrots, 5) omitted coconut & walnuts to appease fiance and new in-laws =), 6) baked 18 minutes for cupcakes - yielded approx. 18 cupcakes per batch, using an ice cream scoop to measure. I have only tried one w/o frosting, I think they will definitely be sweet enough once frosted, I like the extra spice, yet it isn't overpowering, I think the applesauce helps to "lighten" the finished product and reduces the chance of "sinking", and I love the pineapple! I used the frosting recipe, but added 1 tsp. vanilla. Will definitely update after the wedding! Thanks for the recipe! I am so glad I decided to try it!
  5. ROV Chef
    I'm not sure what another 5 star review is going to do for something that is already rated so high, but I'll give it a shot. I thought this cake was outstanding. I love carrot cake and I think I am a good judge of a quality cake. I did make a few changes. First, I hate walnuts so i substituted pistachios. I skipped the coconut, because I can not see a purpose other than an extra flavor to distract from the already solid flavor foundation. I also added some fresh ground nutmeg and some ground ginger since I think they are good complimentary spices. Now the frosting is insanely good. I think it will go good on anything. Cake, scones, muffins, spoons, fingers, maybe even a steak. All in all, this is a great recipe and I know why it is so highly rated.


  1. Gerry H.
  2. SharonChen
    FANTASTIC cake! I divided the cake mixture into 2 9-inch cake pans and made a double-layered one (baking time was 40 minutes)! After reading the reviews, I substitutes the white sugar with brown sugar and also decreased the amount to 1 cup; used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce; chopped pecans instead of walnuts. The result - it was soft, moist, and full of greatness. I especially liked the frosting. Lennie was right. The frosting mentioned in this recipe was so much better than store-bought ones. I doubled the frosting recipe for my double-layered cake! It was GREAT!
  3. LISA H.
    Didn't have all the ingredients. no pinapple or coconut so added a cup of raisins and a cup of apple sauce. Only used 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar in the icing. Turned out great
  4. nuzzmark
    I also add raisins & coarsely chopped walnuts. Another thing I do is drain the crushed pineapple in a bowl then into a measuring cup. I add enough canola oil to the juice to make 1 cup instead of all that oil. I cut the sugar to 1 cup, too.
  5. Lorraine F.
    I just want to add, that what makes this cake so good is that it is so moist and dark and rich, you cannot believe it, I agree it is the crushed pineapple.


I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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