Carrot cake is the only cake I know that can boast a full pound of vegetables contained within the batter. The grated carrots make for a moist cake and a good dose of beta carotene in each bite (for cake, at least). And with cream cheese frosting, it’s one of the most decadent desserts you can put on the table. There are as many kinds of carrot cake recipes as there are carrot cake lovers—some are speckled with cardamom, some have nuts and raisins, some swap in a marshmallow frosting—and some aren’t even an actual cake. But they are all delicious. So try one of these 12 recipes and you’ll be sure to find the one that rings your bell.
If you’ve recently been experimenting with homemade bread, use some of your sourdough starter to make a cake! This also has chai spices and a mascarpone frosting, for a sophisticated carrot cake indeed. Get the Sourdough Carrot Cake recipe.
This recipe has an entire cup of drained crushed pineapple in the mix and is incredibly moist. Try making it as a loaf without the frosting if you’re looking to cut calories or for an easy dessert to pack for a picnic. Get the Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.
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Despite their small size, these mini carrot cakes are show-stoppers. With coconut and white chocolate in the cream cheese frosting, these are extra rich, but perfectly portioned. And they’re gluten-free! Get the Mini Carrot Cakes with White Chocolate Coconut Frosting recipe.
Amazingly enough, this recipe for carrot cake tastes just like the real deal but doesn’t spend a minute in the oven. Shredded carrots, dates, walnuts, raisins, vanilla, and spices meld together in the cake pan (coconut flour holds it together and makes it grain-free), and the raw cashew cream cheese frosting is a great creamy counterpart. Soak the cashews to soften, then combine with lemon juice, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract in the food processor for a smooth, tangy-sweet, dairy-free topping. Get the Raw Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.
Can’t decide between carrot cake and banana bread? Combine them both! This cake-like bread is easy to make and also fairly healthy, with only 1/2 cup of maple syrup, honey, or agave to boost the carrots’ and bananas’ natural sweetness. You can substitute spelt flour or oat flour if you wish, and ice it with healthy cream cheese frosting (which subs in some silken tofu to cut the fat), Greek yogurt frosting, or simple coconut butter. You don’t even have to feel a little guilty about eating this one for breakfast. Get the Carrot Cake Banana Bread recipe.
Cuisinart 9-Inch Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Round Cake, $6.93 on Amazon
A twist on traditional carrot cake, these carrot cake cookies are cakelike and taste absolutely amazing sandwiched around a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of cream cheese frosting. This recipe takes all the taste of carrot cake and halves the time needed to make an impressive dessert. Make a double batch of the cookies and keep a dozen frozen in the freezer for a spur-of-the-moment dessert with a pint of ice cream. Get the Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies recipe.
Carrot cake gets a new look transformed into pancakes, but these are still definitely more of a dessert, or decadent weekend brunch. Grated carrot, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves speckle the buttermilk batter, and the pancakes get topped with ginger-glazed walnuts and a cream cheese maple glaze. Get our Carrot Cake Pancakes recipe.
A cake in a jar? Not only is it adorable, but it’s portable—so you can take it with you on a picnic (or just to work), or mail it to a friend. Topped with some salted butter cream cheese frosting, this is a snack-sized cake that you can’t refuse. Get the Carrot Cake Cupcake Jars recipe. (And here’s one you can actually bake in the jar!)
If you need to feed a crowd, this carrot sheet cake is perfect: it’s a snap to make since it’s a single layer, but it makes 20 servings. And it’s the same combo of classic moist cake with warm spices and tangy cream cheese frosting you know and love in layer cake form. Tiny carrots and parsley leaves make for the cutest decoration, too. Get the Carrot Cake Sheet Cake recipe.
Carrot cake like you’ve never seen (or tasted) it before—with fresh and fruity strawberry mascarpone buttercream between the layers of vanilla- and cinnamon-scented cake (which is also packed with shredded coconut). Edible flowers are a nice touch, but this is stunning even without them. Get the Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream recipe.
Once you cake pop, the fun don’t stop. Such is the case with these delicious carrot cake and cream cheese confections. Eater beware: it’s difficult to consume just one. Get the Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Pops recipe.
If you believe the cream cheese frosting is one of the best parts of carrot cake, meet this mash-up that features a generous layer of creamy, cinnamon-scented cheesecake in the middle of the usual moist carrot cake strata—with the requisite whipped cream cheese frosting on top, of course. Get the Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake recipe.
Related Video: See How to Make Our Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
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