Great Meals for a Change

A fun way to taste, talk and learn about sustainable food

Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 20 min + 50 min to bakeMakes: 12-16 servings

A rich and flavourful cake featuring sweet winter carrots and topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting.


  • Butter or oil for the pan
  • about ¼ cup poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups (packed) finely shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (combined with carrot)
  • Optional additions:
  • ¾ raisins or currants
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • For the icing:
  • ½ cup (125g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (250g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (250g) icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease 2 standard-sized loaf pans or 1 oblong pan (9x13 or 10x14). Sprinkle in the poppy seeds; tilt and shake the pan(s) to distribute the seeds. They will stick nicely.
  • Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. When the mixture is fluffy, stir in the vanilla and lemon rind.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients. Add this to the butter mixture alternately with the carrots, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix just enough after each addition to combine - don't over mix. Stir in the optional items (or not) with the last flour addition.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the pan(s) and bake 40 to 50 minutes (loaf pans) or 35 minutes (oblong pan) - or until a probe inserted into the centre comes out clean. For loaf pans: Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then rap the pan sharply, and dislodge and remove the cake. Transfer to a rack, and let it cool at least 1 hour before slicing.
  • To make icing:
  • Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Sift icing sugar over top, then beat to combine. Spread over cake (once cake is cool). Cake will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Taken from: "Moosewood Cookbook," by M. Katezan (1992)