Old Fashioned Carrot Cake

Tender, moist and rich with that wonderfully nostalgic flavor of yesteryear!  We use a secret method that makes this cake EXTRA moist!  This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe is simple to make and is simply perfect!

For more unforgettably delicious cakes be sure to also try our Peanut Butter Cake, Caramel Pear Walnut Cake, and French Almond Plum Cake!  And for our gluten free readers be sure to try our Gluten Free Carrot Cake.

old fashioned carrot cake recipe best raisins walnuts orange mace nutmeg traditional easy cream cream frosting

This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe is made differently than most:  It holds the secret to a richer texture and a superbly moist crumb.  That secret is to cook and puree the carrots before adding them to the batter.  Give it a try and we think it will win you over!

I’ve always loved carrot cake.  One reason is because it gives me a convenient excuse to enjoy a sinfully thick layer of irresistible cream cheese frosting.  I have to admit, a repressed fantasy of mine is to take an entire bowl of cream cheese frosting, grab a spoon, sit down in a comfy chair, and have at it.  Have you ever experienced that urge?  I’ve never mustered the courage to do it.  Maybe someday.  Someday when calories no longer stick to hips and thighs (HA!).

Or perhaps I’ve never given into the urge because cream cheese frosting, as irresistibly wonderful as it is, really is at its best when it’s “on something.  And there’s no better “something” than carrot cake.  Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting pair together so exquisitely they define the very definition of match made in heaven.

Time Saving Tips

This cake is relatively quick to make but there are a few things you can do to save even more time:

  • Toast the walnuts in advance, let them cool, and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Cook and puree the carrots well in advance.  Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Make the frosting up to 2 days in advance.  Just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before spreading it onto the cake.

This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe has a feel of “yesteryear” about it which I love with the inclusion of mace, a spice that was extremely common generations ago but is virtually unheard of today, the touch of orange zest, and its simplicity of preparation.  Enjoy a slice with a glass of cold milk and you’ll be in heaven!

old fashioned carrot cake recipe best raisins walnuts orange mace nutmeg traditional easy cream cream frosting

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake Recipe

Let’s get started!

To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the walnuts out on the baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the walnuts start to darken. Let the walnuts cool and then coarsely chop them.

toasting and chopping walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides of the pan.

In small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar until combined. Add the milk, vanilla extract, orange zest and melted butter.

preparing ingredients

Prepare the carrot puree in advance:  Boil in a saucepan until soft, drain and puree in a blender until smooth.  Let cool.

Add the flour mixture and carrot puree and beat just until combined. Do not over-beat.

preparing ingredients

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the walnuts and raisins.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth the top.

preparing ingredients

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


baking the cake

Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then carefully invert it onto a serving plate.

To make the frosting, beat all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined.

Spread it onto the top and sides of the cake.

spreading on cream cheese frosting

Cut into squares and serve.


old fashioned carrot cake recipe best raisins walnuts orange mace nutmeg traditional easy cream cream frosting

For more delicious cake recipes be sure to try our:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet February 19, 2014


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