Farm Stand Carrot Cake

Active Time: 10 minutes • Total Time: 60 minutes

Yields: 10 Servings

Carrot Cake
Comments Rating 3.67 (3 reviews)
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  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated, peeled Earthbound Farm Organic Carrots
  • 1 ¾ cups chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

This recipe was developed by Chef Pam McKinstry in 1978 for her restaurant on Nantucket Island, where it’s still popular. (It’s our best-selling dessert at the Farm Stand, too.) The cake is very moist, thanks to the carrots, and will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Heavily grease and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the carrots and 1 cup of the nuts, stirring just to blend.

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before unmolding.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl until very smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar, then the vanilla. If the frosting is very stiff, thin with a tablespoon of milk or water.

Place one of the cake layers on a flat plate. Spread with some of the frosting. Top with the second layer and frost the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining nuts.

5 comments on “Farm Stand Carrot Cake

  1. It looked great but way too sweet for my liking


    I wanted to make a carrot cake. Something I’ve not made since the Clinton administration. Well, after seeing these carrots at the store I went to the website and decided to use this recipe. As excited as I was about the recipe, I was concerned about the ratio of ingredients. Sure enough, the cake was way too sweet. I wonder if it should be 1 cup of sugar instead of 2? I also thought 3 cups of carrots may be too much for only 2 cups of flour. But I followed the recipe to the letter. I even mise en place the ingredients to be sure to do it right. I will not make this recipe again, but I will definitely buy the carrots again. They are just lovely.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Tracy. I checked the original recipe to be sure the quantities of sugar and carrots are both correct and that there wasn’t a error in uploading the recipe. But the 2 cups of sugar and 3 cups of carrots match the original recipe. We’re sorry you didn’t like the cake, but glad you liked the carrots at least.

  2. My Go-To Carrot Cake!


    This is my go-to carrot cake recipe. I LOVE it. I first tried a slice at the farm stand and was then extremely pleased to see it online. I have since served it to friends, family, coworkers—to anyone and everyone I can find who loves carrot cake. It never lets me down.

  3. Looks yummy! How would you adjust for Cupcakes


    I want to make cupcakes to share. What adjustments would you suggest? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • This recipe should make about 24 standard cupcakes. Keep the baking temperature at 325 and reduce the baking time by about 10% to start. I’d check the cupcakes at about 50 minutes to start to see if a toothpick comes out clean. If not, add more time as needed.

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