Chunky, Chewy Carrot Cake


It’s not really chunky. It just has chunks in it. Lovely chunks of pineapple, walnuts and raisins. All necessary to make a good carrot cake. (Unless you are opposed to such things.)

Ole loves carrot cake; however, he doesn’t want just any carrot cake. He wants to really chew the pineapple, crunch the walnuts. So, I make him that carrot cake. The result is a moist carrot cake with heavenly cream cheese frosting. Yes, heavenly.

These are the things you need. Plus that computer over there at the top left. The computer is very, very important. Yes, very.

Line your pan with parchment first. This will avoid any sticking caused by very moist cake. Sticking is no good. Trace the bottom of the pan onto the parchment and cut out the circles and place them in your greasy pan. THEN you can grease and flour right on top of that.

I like to grate my own carrots, but you can also buy pre-grated carrots near the bagged salads. They will be a thicker grate, though, and not as juicy as grating your own.

A lot of stuff goes into that mixer, but it doesn’t take long.

And then you have this.

Pour them into your lined cake pans.

You know, I’m willing to bet I could use 9″ cake pans for this. Maybe I’ll try it, or if you try it, let me know how it goes. These are 8″ pans.

This is post-baking, the next day at my mom’s house in HER tiny blue kitchen (as opposed to my green one). I slice the tops off so the cake is level with the top of the pan. This makes stacking them together incredibly easy.

Then just plop it down on the pan and peel the parchment off to get a flat base for your next layer.

Give it a nice layer of frosting and plop the next layer right on top, again, peeling off the parchment from the bottom. Then finish frosting the entire cake.

You could serve it as is, top it with some crushed pineapple, sprinkle nuts, whatever. We generally cover the sides in sliced almonds and mix some of the frosting with food coloring to get the carrots on top. Because I was at my mom’s house, you will see a plastic bag being substituted for a pastry bag to make the carrots. It works just fine. Try to make sure you cut off the smallest possible amount on the corner to give you more control.

But WAIT! You can’t just throw the tops away. I cut them into slices and layer them with some extra frosting in whatever container I have and stick them in the fridge.

Because this is my favorite part of the carrot cake.

Chunky Carrot Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, reserving one spoonful off to the side
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated (1 16-ounce package baby cut carrots or approximately 8 medium carrots)
½ cup crushed pineapple
½ cup diced fresh pineapple (can substitute canned if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray two 8-inch, round cake pans with cooking spray. Cut parchment paper circles out (by using the bottoms as stencils), then butter and flour the pans.

Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow. Mix in vanilla. In another bowl, sift together flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients slowly to the bowl until combined.

Toss the raisins and walnuts with the reserved flour. Fold raisins and nuts with the carrots and pineapple. Add mixture to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces (1 ½ packages) cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Mix the cream cheese and butter together just until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Reserve ½ cup frosting for orange/green food coloring for decorating, if desired.

Place first layer with the bottom up on a flat plate. Spread the top (or the bottom that’s facing up) with frosting. Carefully cut rounded top off second layer using a layer cake cutter or a bread knife. Place the second layer on top, cut side down, and spread the frosting over the entire cake. Decorate with slivered almonds by pressing up sides. If you feel creative, you can pipe little carrots on top of the cake with colored frosting. Otherwise, just sprinkle a few more almonds on top.


  1. Ooh, do I really get to be the first to comment on your brand, spankin’ new, beautiful blog?!?

    Looks absolutely divine! I love that you took the time to decorate it so beautifully. Little touches like that make it really special. I could go for a piece with a nice tall glass of milk right now!

    • Patricia Mace says:

      I’ve searched the World Wide Web over to find a carrot cake recipe that made me as purely happy as the cake I used to eat at a bakery in Palo Alto, CA in my 20’s. YOUR CAKE IS DIVINE. I am hugely happy. Thank-you!

  2. Looks wonderful! I may fix this for Easter.

  3. I would love to get this for my birthday.

    Ole’s last blog post..Council Meeting

  4. Lindsay says:

    I made your carrot cake and it was wonderful! A huge hit at a party! I added 1/4 cup coconut and a dash of allspice in 9inch pans and it turned out great! I love this hearty, chunky style of carrot cake! Thanks for the recipe and great directions with pictures! (FYI: In the body of your directions you forgot to mention nutmeg in the dry ingredients.)

  5. Thanks, Lindsay! I updated it so it’s there now. I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is my family’s absolute favorite.

  6. looking fantastic and yammy!. I can’t wait to try.

  7. Do you bake and ship-sell? Thank you

  8. Tabitha Horton says:

    Love your site!

  9. I loved all the chunks in the carrot cake. I modified the recipe to make a sweet and healthy treat. No sugar and a little less oil. Oatmeal instead of flour+a little whole wheat flour. A whole can of pineapple tidbits. (added to the sweetness and moisture lost by less oil) Poured in muffin tins. My daughter loved these for breakfast. The oatmeal also adds to the sweetness, so we didn’t miss the sugar. I haven’t found the recipe for the heavenly cream cheese frosting, but I guess a little stevia in the cream cheese would make a good frosting.

    • I can see the first 3 ingredients for the cream cheese frosting at the bottom of the method for the cake but the formatting is funny and gets lost behind other texts…can this be fixed??
      Thanks for your tips on making what sounds like an excellent cake by all accounts into a more healthy excellent cake :) I’m going to try substituting ingreds too to make more healthy…will see how I get on

  10. I made this cake last week. It didn’t last long. My husband’s first piece was 1/4 of the cake.

    He made me give half of the cake to my mom so that he wouldn’t eat it. He soon regretted that idea.

    Tonight he told me that I can make this carrot cake whenever I want.

    I have to say. I thought I had the best carrot cake recipe. I can`t find it, so I looked up one that was as close to mine as I can remember. This one fit the bill. Awesome recipe!

  11. Staci Forsythe says:

    OMGoodness… DELISH! I’m made your Carrot Cake yesterday and received nothing but raves! This was my first attempt at carrot cake, made a success because of your perfect blend of ingredients. The best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever tasted too. Thank you so kindly for sharing your recipes. I’m looking forward to trying some others. Keep on baking! :D

  12. Patrick Albright says:

    Question, why use all purpose flower vs cake flower?

  13. My Mom’s favorite cake is…Carrot Cake. I made your recipe for her birthday. This is the first time I have made a carrot cake. As I checked out at the grocery store, I did buy organic and fresh, I thought, wow, it would have been alot cheaper to buy the Publix carrot cake, which is good. (once I took my first bite, I will never eat another bite of any other carrot cake) Well, I was worried the batter was too wet, you gave me confidence to follow your recipe. On my Mom’s 74th birthday, she told me ‘this is the best cake I have ever had’. Given, she grew up with homemade cakes. My 17 year old son loved your recipe as well. Even though it is time consuming, I am making for Thanksgiving. If I had chosen a different recipe, I may never had made another carrot cake.

    Thank you for your wonderful recipe.

  14. I want to try this — it looks scrumptious, But I can’t see the frosting recipe. It goes behind text at the bottom of the page. Can you post it? Thanks!

  15. Now that’s a REAL carrot cake. It’s the cake I love from the ’70’s. By the time I became serious about cooking and baking I couldn’t find a recipe for my favorite cake the way I remembered it. I just want to say thank you, thank you!

  16. Jan Small says:

    I know this is delish because I make mine almost the same, just add a bit of coconut, brown sugar and apple sauce in place of some of the oil. I like the almonds on the side, perfect touch and looks delish.

  17. I love the way the recipe for the cake sounds. I love mine to be chewy as well as delicious and this one looks it will be the perfect one for me. I can’t see the entire recipe for the Cream Cheese Frosting for some reason. Maybe it’s my MAC, but can I please get that recipe for the perfect finish to this cake?

  18. Also can’t get the full cream cheese frosting recipe. PLEASE post. I’m guessing the frosting recipe needs some powdered sugar, maybe some orange zest or extract to ramp up the taste of the carrots, no?

    Thank you kindly!


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