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Bill’s Big Carrot Cake [TWD]

This is a delicious carrot cake recipe with a frosting that complimented nicely without overwhelming it. I am certainly planning to make it again soon.

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake

For the cake
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of finely grated carrots
1 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup of shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup of moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries (optional)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon of pure lemon extract
1/2 cup of shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)


    1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess.
    2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
    3. Beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
    4. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean when tested, about 40-50 minutes. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
    5. Frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the extract. If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.
    6. Assembly: Put one layer top side up on plate. Use a third of the frosting to generously cover the first layer, smoothing the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, top side down, and frost with another third of the frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top and the sides of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.



Baker’s Note

I quartered the recipe and made 2 small cakes to later slice horizontally (although I probably should have make 3) and also quartered the frosting. The frosting was not even enough for 2 small 2 layer cakes.

Yield: Serves 10
Source: From Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Bills’ Big Carrot Cake was chosen by Amanda of Slow Like Honey for Tuesdays With Dorie.


48 Responses to “Bill’s Big Carrot Cake [TWD]”

  1. All of these carrot cakes look yummy! I love how you made two small cakes. What size pan did you use? They look like a perfect size.

    Posted by dobetter | April 22, 2008, 4:59 pm
  2. I love carrot cake!I’ve tagged you for the six-word memoir, by the way. If you’d like to play along, the rules are on my blog. :)

    Posted by Vicarious Foodie | April 22, 2008, 5:35 pm
  3. Love the mini-cake! Great job!Clara @ I♥food4thought

    Posted by CB | April 22, 2008, 5:48 pm
  4. Oooh… buttermilk carrot cake. If you find a recipe let me know!And I think you’re doing just fine in the cake decorating department. Your little cake is beautiful!

    Posted by Dolores | April 22, 2008, 6:33 pm
  5. Buttermilk carrot cake sounds great! Beautiful mini cake!

    Posted by Melissa | April 22, 2008, 6:40 pm
  6. What are you talking about?!? Your frosting job looks awesome, and your mini cakes are adorable!

    Posted by Engineer Baker | April 22, 2008, 7:01 pm
  7. I am loving the exposed layers! Your little big cake is too cute. Well done!

    Posted by Gigi | April 22, 2008, 8:11 pm
  8. I love your mini cakes! You did a great job. I’d like to be better at cake decorating too, and I’m going to take a cake decorating class this summer!

    Posted by Erin | April 22, 2008, 8:26 pm
  9. mini is so much fun! yours look great !

    Posted by Mary | April 22, 2008, 8:28 pm
  10. With a cake this good, it doesn’t need any decoration, it gets gobbled up too fast! You cakes look adorable! :)

    Posted by LyB | April 22, 2008, 8:28 pm
  11. Constant learner here too. Thats always a good thing. Your cake is gorgeous, great job babe!

    Posted by slush | April 22, 2008, 8:40 pm
  12. Your cake looks gorgeous! Mine is going to be posted tomorrow as I am making it tonight – better late than never!

    Posted by Tammy | April 22, 2008, 9:09 pm
  13. your cake looks great! though i’m with you – i am still very much learning how to decorate cakes! it doesn’t matter though…because in the end, as long as it tastes good, right? :)definitely give the pastry queen recipe a try!

    Posted by Jaime | April 22, 2008, 9:44 pm
  14. Karen – The cakes were a great size. I used ramekins which nicely fit a cup with room at the top. I used 3/4 cups of better in each but would do 1/2 cup next time.Vicarious Foodie – Thanks! I will see to it soon!Engineer Baker – Thanks for your kind words!

    Posted by Gretchen Noelle | April 22, 2008, 9:44 pm
  15. I’m with you on the decorating. I’ve always taken the side of flavor, because it gets left out of so many pretty-but-bland commercial baked goods. But lately I’ve been thinking it’s time to raise the game in decorating. I’m here to cheer you on!

    Posted by Rebecca | April 22, 2008, 10:28 pm
  16. baby cakes are adorable! one of the many great things about carrot cakes is that minimal decoration is fine…they are supposed to look deliciously homemade!

    Posted by steph- whisk/spoon | April 22, 2008, 10:33 pm
  17. Mini cakes were a great idea- it looks wonderful! Great job!

    Posted by Anne | April 22, 2008, 10:37 pm
  18. A good carrot cake is truly a thing of beauty! I think yours came out lovely. It is one of my fave cakes. I’ve never tried Dorie’s recipe, but I’m sure it is great!

    Posted by StickyGooeyCreamyChewy | April 22, 2008, 10:41 pm
  19. Your cake looks delicious. I will have to try a daring bakers challenge one of these days!

    Posted by CupcakeLady | April 22, 2008, 11:07 pm
  20. I love your cake it looks lovely. I think this was one of the easiest baking until now!Ulrike from Küchenlatein

    Posted by ostwestwind | April 22, 2008, 11:29 pm
  21. Great job! For me the small cakes are much better – you can even take them with you to work.

    Posted by Claudia | April 23, 2008, 1:49 am
  22. Nothing beats a good carrot cake in my book and you did such a fabulous job!

    Posted by Aran | April 23, 2008, 3:31 am
  23. Gretchen, I think your cake is pretty as a picture!

    Posted by Mevrouw Cupcake | April 23, 2008, 4:59 am
  24. This cake looks lovely – I think that simple decoration is just fine. A large slice please – I am a fan of carrot cake!

    Posted by Cakelaw | April 23, 2008, 7:17 am
  25. I think decorating is tough for a lot of people, frosting can be a fickle fellow! ;)I frosted mine the same as you, just kind put it on there and sprinkled some stuff over top, nothing wrong with that at all!

    Posted by Carrie | April 23, 2008, 7:19 am
  26. It’s a baby cake! I didn’t even realize until I saw it next to the fork. Looks adorable & delicious! I’m with you on the cake decorating…I just slap on some frosting & go! And I’m ok with that right now. :)

    Posted by Sarah | April 23, 2008, 7:24 am
  27. I love the mini cakes people are doing. Looks great!

    Posted by Shari | April 23, 2008, 7:53 am
  28. Your cake looks great! You have nothing to worry about with the decorating! Good job!

    Posted by Sarah | April 23, 2008, 8:50 am
  29. The looks great! It almost looks like a full sized cake with quite tall layers in the first picture, then I saw it with the fork. So cute!

    Posted by Katrina | April 23, 2008, 9:00 am
  30. Beautiful! I’m beginning to like mini cakes more than the larger size. As for decorating, just make a batch of regular buttercream and pipe decorations out on a sheet of wax paper. When I first started messing around with it, I needed to work on control and just piping helped me out.

    Posted by Christina | April 23, 2008, 12:41 pm
  31. yummy!! I really needed a good carrot cake recipe. It looks delish. I liked your post, too! We are all learing our own lesson, right!?

    Posted by Rebecca | April 23, 2008, 3:33 pm
  32. I love your idea of using ramekins for the cakes, then splitting them — I may try this next time I make a cake. Your cake looks just adorable (and delicious!) I love that cream cheese frosting; I’ve made it before.PS – I gave you a (well-deserved) award! Stop by my blog to check it out. :)

    Posted by Amy | April 23, 2008, 4:27 pm
  33. Your carrot cake looks just right. I’d certainly take a piece!Yes, with your eyes and ears open, the learning never stops.

    Posted by Cookie baker Lynn | April 23, 2008, 5:37 pm
  34. Nice pics. Looks great.Smart people know that they don’t know. Isnt that so true!

    Posted by Lori | April 23, 2008, 5:51 pm
  35. Lovely cake. It looks very luscious. How interesting that you have moved to Peru – I always enjoy your Peru origin recipes as well.

    Posted by Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats | April 23, 2008, 6:00 pm
  36. Your little cake looks great! And I agree about the frosting – it’s not enough.

    Posted by Jayne | April 23, 2008, 6:02 pm
  37. these little cakes look great, your decorating is beautiful! one day later and i’m still drooling over all these carrot cake photos!

    Posted by mimi | April 23, 2008, 6:49 pm
  38. Last time I made this cake, that is how I decorated mine. Your cakes look lovely, so cute in mini and with a generous icing, just how I like them.

    Posted by Jenny | April 23, 2008, 7:05 pm
  39. That layered carrot cake looks so good!

    Posted by Kevin | April 23, 2008, 7:20 pm
  40. i am definitely a learner too! :) i think your mini-cake looks great! even if there aren’t any little piped carrots or whatnot, i don’t think this cake needs it… looks great as you’ve done it, and even by itself is such a lovely color/texture :)

    Posted by kim | April 23, 2008, 8:55 pm
  41. Beautiful job! I am thinking you could easily do the amount of oil in half oil and half buttermilk. You would keep fat and moisture and get some tang from the taste.Your cake is making me hungry!!

    Posted by Tartelette | April 23, 2008, 10:18 pm
  42. Carrot cake is one of my very favorites (the other being German Chocolate).Your cake here looks divine and so mositly good!Wish I had a piece.

    Posted by MyKitchenInHalfCups | April 23, 2008, 10:35 pm
  43. Your cake looks lovely! Don’t sell yourself short! I think you did an awesome job of decorating it. Bravo!

    Posted by Donna | April 23, 2008, 11:43 pm
  44. You did a great job on your cake. It looks wonderful!

    Posted by Liliana | April 24, 2008, 6:31 am
  45. I thought your cakes came out nicely and came out nicely. Did you make mini cakes? I’m fast becoming a fan of mini cakes.If you don’t mind me asking, what brought you to Peru?Just so you know, Kristi Yamaguchi is doing flawlessly on Dancing with the Stars.

    Posted by Cecilia | April 24, 2008, 1:33 pm
  46. I love your mini cakes and think they are fabulously decorated!

    Posted by MrsBethorama | April 24, 2008, 6:59 pm
  47. your cakes look perfect! i love the idea of mini cakes.

    Posted by Zakia / The Frosted Bake Shop | April 27, 2008, 3:42 pm


  1. [...] Surprises like when guests bite into a slice of cake and then I tell them that it has zucchini, carrots, or even [...]

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