Jon's Carrot Cake Recipe

Here it is, due to popular demand. I started with a recipe from my mother and ran with it. Like her, I could never leave well enough alone.


2 cupsflour
1 cupwhite sugar
1 cupbrown sugar
2 tspbaking powder
2 tspbaking soda
1 tspsalt
2 tspcinnamon
1 1/4 cupvegetable oil
3 cupsgrated carrots (food processor is your friend)
1 tbspvanilla
1/4 cupmaple syrup
1 tsporange extract
cream cheese frosting

Combile flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in large bowl of mixer. Turn the mixer on at the slowest speed and mix until well blended. Add oil while mixing. Add carrots and eggs, one at a time, while mixing. Add vanilla, maple syrup, orange extract. Mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9" x 13" pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 50-60 min until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan. Do not skip the cooling step or the frosting will become a real mess.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ozcream cheese
1/4 cupbutter
2 cupssugar (for crunchy frosting use a mixture of brown and white granular sugar; for smoother frosting substitute confectioners' sugar for some or all of it)
1 tsporange extract
zest from one orange (optional)
1 tbspvanilla
1/4 cupmaple syrup

Combine cream cheese and butter in mixer bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Slow the mixer down and add sugar, orange extract, vanilla and maple syrup. Once blended, crank the mixer up again and beat a bit more.


There are a few things that make this different from a garden-variety carrot cake. The maple syrup, orange extract and vanilla add their own deliciousness and unify the cake and frosting.

I recommend granular sugar like brown sugar or regular white sugar for the frosting but many people seem to prefer the more traditional confectioners' sugar for that. If you're adventurous, try some Turbinado sugar ("sugar in the raw") for the frosting.

It's hard to ruin this cake. I've tried a lot of variations and basically they are all good.

Jon Dreyer