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happy birthday dave and carrot cake


Today is my husband’s birthday. Carrot Cake is a family favorite and it is oh so pretty. It doesn’t make much sense to make a big old layer cake with only two of us here, so I’m taking it to his office this afternoon to celebrate there.

Whenever you’re working with a recipe that calls for dry ingredients to be added to wet ingredients, it makes for easier clean-up to measure the dry ingredients onto waxed paper or foil instead of in a bowl.  It’s easier to fold the paper or foil in half and pour it in this way than it is to pour from a bowl. Plus you can reuse the paper or foil for this purpose over and over again.

Be very careful when toasting the coconut used to decorate the cake. It takes a while to go from white to a nice toasted brown but then goes from that nice brown to burnt, smelly, black, and ruined very quickly!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups sugar
    3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 small (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
    2 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 5 medium carrots)
    1  1/3 cups coconut
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • 16-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    5 cups sifted powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 tablespoon light rum or milk
  • 1 cup coconut, toasted

Cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees; generously butter two 9-inch cake pans, line bottom of pans with parchment paper, press paper onto the bottom of the pan, then turn over and press down again, this butters both sides of the parchment.

Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt on a sheet of waxed paper or foil or whisk in a bowl.

Sifting...Add dry ingredients...Stir in remaining

Beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Pick up and fold the wax paper or foil to use as a sort of funnel and add to the sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.

Use a rubber spatula to stir in pineapple, carrots, coconut, and walnuts.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes in preheated oven.  Cool 20 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and pull away the parchment from cake bottoms, cool on a rack.

Filling parchment lined pans.... peeling off parchment

Frosting:  Mix together the cream cheese and butter in a standing mixer until smooth and thoroughly blended.  Add the sugar and vanilla; use the rum as necessary to make the frosting spreadable.  Measure out 1 cup of the frosting and set it aside, it will be used to make “frosting carrots” to decorate the cake.

Place one cake layer, rounded top side down, on a cake plate and spread with one-fourth of the frosting. Top with the second layer, rounded side up, and spread top and sides with frosting.

Mix orange food coloring with 3/4 cup of the reserved frosting.  Mix the other 1/4 cup of frosting with green food coloring.  Using a pastry bag, make little mini carrots along the top edge of the cake with a Wilton #10 round tip for the orange carrots and a Wilton #108 leaf tip for the green leaves.  Press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake.  Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour to allow the frosting to firm up before serving.

Serves 10 – 12

*for cupcakes; fill liners 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean.

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1 Sharon { 10.06.09 at 8:59 AM }

Linda, I love your blogs. Now as soon as I turn on the computer in the morning, I go to your site to see what you have written. I really appreciate how you explain everything so well. I wanted to ask you if there was a certain brand of food mill that you like the best. Also, I made your Quick Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup yesterday. Sydney and Joseph were so excited to see it when they came home from school. Keep those wonderful blogs coming – we love them over here!

2 Linda Hopkins { 10.06.09 at 10:24 AM }

Hi Sharon, thank you so much for checking in with the blog and for all your kind words of encouragement! I think the best brand of food mill is Moulinex (that is the brand of the plastic bowl model I have) and so does America’s Test Kitchens. Here is a link to read what they say -http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ibb/posts.aspx?postID=211340&postRepeater1-p=1#211346. I’m sure you can find one if you search online. Tell the kids “hi” for me.

3 Dave Hopkins { 10.19.09 at 5:32 PM }

This is the best carrot cake ever! The office was very thankful that it was my birthday, and there was nothing left at the end of the day

4 Tram Mai { 03.02.12 at 6:54 PM }

Linda, I LOVE LOVE your carrot cake- the best I’ve had since I left Alaska of all places! I’ll be making it this weekend and I can’t wait!! 🙂

5 Leann grunwald { 03.02.12 at 9:17 PM }

I am so excited Linda that I just found this blog by accident. I did not know you had one. This is a treasure for me and I will be visiting daily.

6 Linda Hopkins { 03.02.12 at 9:27 PM }

Hi Leann, so happy you found it! 🙂

7 Linda Hopkins { 03.02.12 at 9:28 PM }

Tram, let me know how it turns out —- I already know, it’ll be GREAT! xoxo

8 Tram Mai { 08.22.14 at 8:39 AM }

This is the BEST carrot cake ever!! I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!! It’s changed Mai life!! Really!! And others too!! 🙂 Xoxo

9 Patti pullen { 08.28.14 at 12:17 PM }

The is the best carrot cake ever! I make it over and over! Always a hit!

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