Carrot Cake

This carrot cake, made with puréed carrots, coconut, canned pineapple, and a vanilla-scented cream cheese frosting is a timeless classic.

A slice of classic carrot cake--two carrot cake layers filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting; on top are crushed walnuts

In the beginning, Sheila’s mother drove her famous carrot cakes down to Manhattan daily from her Connecticut kitchen. The cake became a Silver Palate classic; it may now become yours as well.–Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Carrot Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 4 H
  • Serves 10 to 12
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Silver Palate Cookbook: 25th Anniversary Edition cookbook

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  • For the cake
  • For the cream cheese frosting


Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 9-inch springform pans.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes.
Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours. Fill and frost the cake with the Cream Cheese Frosting.
Make the frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. The mixture should be free of lumps.
Stir in the vanilla, and lemon juice if desired.
Print RecipeBuy the The Silver Palate Cookbook: 25th Anniversary Edition cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This was beyond the best carrot cake I have ever had. I have never put puréed carrots into a cake, but it was great. Very moist, not too sugary, light, and airy. This is my new go-to dessert.


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    1. Hi Cindy, generally speaking in baking, you can use either (2) 9″ pans or a 9×13 pan. The 9×13 pan will take 5 to 10 less time to bake. This particular recipe calls for (2) 9″ springform pans so I’m reluctant to recommend conversion to a 9×13 as we did not test it that way.

    1. Hi Vivienne, it should take about 10 minutes longer but I would double check with a cake tester and look for visual clues like pulling away from the sides.

  1. how many times have you made this…i have made it several, and each time seems a little different. am i supposed to be not only draining the pineapple, but also squeezing out the excess liquid. sometimes, it is just a little wet in the middle, or am i just not baking it enough?

    1. sheryl, draining should be sufficient. But let it drain for a good amount of time, say 10 minutes, stirring several times.

      Also, do you have an oven thermometer? You want to make sure that your oven is correctly calibrated.

      And definitely bake the cake until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. It may take an extra 10 or so minutes. There are just some times when a baked good needs extra time.

  2. David – Can this cake be made without coconut? What adjustments/substitutions (if any) would need to be made? Thank you!

    1. Hi Laura, we have not tested this without coconut so I’m reluctant to say what may or may not work. Might I suggest that you try this version (perhaps without the coconut syrup and topping, if you are trying to avoid coconut)?

  3. Sometimes you just have to have carrot cake, nothing else, just big slices of carrot cake. I had walnuts that were finally dried to perfection and a giant bag of carrot from the farmers market…so many carrots that instead of pineapple I just added more grated carrots. That was the only change I made to this delicious recipe. This cake is even better the next day after sitting covered in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)

    A carrot cake, with a slice removed, covered in cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with walnuts

    1. Renee, in general, you can let cake layers cool, remove them from the pan, wrap them well in plastic wrap, and freeze them for up to a couple months and then let them thaw prior to assembling and frosting as a layer cake. However, because of the carrots and pineapple in carrot cake, I’m concerned that the moisture in the vegetable and fruit may result in a soggy texture after the cake’s been thawed. I think you could wrap it up and refrigerate it for a day or two at most if you need to make it ahead of time for a special occasion, but I wouldn’t freeze it.

    1. Sharon, it’s more than substituting ingredients for the flour. There’s a delicate balance that has to be struck to make up for what gluten-free ingredients can’t do that flour can. I think finding a good g-f carrot cake would be the best way to go, or check out our gluten-free banana bread, which is very popular.

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