Best Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake

A serious warning accompanies this cake recipe – once you make it, and the first bite is devoured, you will then be required to make it for every event, for the rest of your life.  There’s a possibility you might not even be invited, but the cake will.

My mother has been making this gem for years and it never disappoints; it’s easily the most moist, dense, dewy, and magical of carrot cakes.

It comes from this old school collection of awesome, America’s Best Recipes: A 1990 Hometown Collection, buy it!

I found an updated version that suggestions lining your cake pans with parchment or wax paper before flouring and greasing and I must concur; it’s darn near impossible to get those suckers out once the glaze has been poured, even with your best grease job. I also recommend using Crisco instead of butter for the butter and flour part.

Make sure you drain your pineapple or the cake will be a mess.

I’ve included two options for your frosting, the first is the original printed, and the other an updated version.  My mother swears there’s never enough with the original, and I think it’s plenty, you be the judge.  I’m also a fan of crumb coating the cake, but you frost as you desire.

Don’t hate me for relegating you to carrot cake duty, but do make sure someone saves you a piece!

Best Carrot Cake


2 cups sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1 3/12 ounce can flaked coconut

Buttermilk Glaze

Cream Cheese Frosting


Combine first 5 ingredients; beat well.  Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon; add to sugar mixture, stirring well.  Add carrot, walnuts, pineapple and coconut; stir well.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Pour Buttermilk Glaze over warm cake layers.  Let cool in pans for 15 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.  Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk Glaze


1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan oven over medium heat. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 16-ounce package powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

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