Carrot Nut Cake

This carrot nut cake features two layers of carrot cake sandwiched with brown sugar cream cheese frosted with caramel buttercream. 
Carrot Nut Cake

Carrot Nut Cake

As a child I steered away from carrot cake.  There was no way I was going to eat vegetables for desserts.  Of course my parents tried to convince me that it tasted good, just as good as chocolate cake. But, I knew better than that.
All my life I was misinformed.  Carrot cake is by no means healthy, light, or low fat.
Just like its friends banana nut bread and zucchini bread, they try to fool you with fruits and vegetables in their name but they’re just as bad as any other baked good.
They’re like children who seem so sweet and innocent while they sleep but are evil, loud, and messy when awake.
Carrot Nut Cake


The original recipe for this cake called for dried apricots. However, I am not a fan of dried fruits in cakes. They remind me too much of fruitcake and panettone, which I can only stomach during the holidays.  

Instead, I used a combination of toasted walnuts and almonds (and if I had pecans, I would have used that too).  The toasted nuts give nice texture to this super moist and flavorful cake.

The shredded carrots add another dimension of sweetness that complement the brown sugar cream cheese between the two layers. I also did a crumb coat with the same cream cheese and then frosted the entire cake in a subtle but very tasty caramel buttercream.  

I made a couple mini roses out of pink colored  marzipan to decorate the top.  As I was slicing the cake, I remembered I had some gum paste sweet peas I put together a couple days ago. Luckily, they surprisingly match my grandmother’s antique cake plates quite well.

Other carrot cake variations:

Fans of this carrot nut cake will also enjoy these carrot cake cinnamon rolls or morning glory muffins

Carrot Nut Cake

Yield: two 8-inch round cake layers and 8 muffins 


Carrot Nut Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla paste, or pure vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • 140 grams superfine sugar
  • 60 grams egg whites
  • 340 grams (12 oz) unsalted butter, room tempertuare
  • 230 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla paste, or pure vanilla extract
  • caramel to taste (store-bought, or homemade)


Carrot Nut Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter two 8” round cake pans and line 8 muffin cups.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.  Add in carrots and nuts.

  3. Whisk together eggs, olive oil, milk, vanilla, and sugars in a medium bowl.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

  4. Transfer 3 1/2 cups of batter to each cake pan and divide the rest among the lined muffin pan. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes and the cupcakes for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes and cupcakes on a wire rack.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add the brown sugar and beat until light and creamy.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a small bowl.  Heat over a bain-marie and continue to whisk until mixture to hot to the touch.

  2. Transfer hot mixture to bowl of stand mixer and whip on medium speed until mixture becomes white in color and has cooled to room temperature.

  3. Reduce speed and add the butter one tablespoon at a time.  Once all the butter has been incorporated, add in the powdered sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla.  Increase speed back to medium and beat until mixture is smooth.

  4. Add caramel to taste and beat until caramel is fully incorporated.

Recipe Notes

cake recipe adapted from County Living's Carrot Pistachio Cake

Carrot Nut Cake
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WOW! That cake looks great Meyan :D I love how you frosted it.


This looks great! The flowers are beautiful. Can you post a tutorial on how you made them?


Beautiful photos!

the little epicurean

@anonymous- Thank you! Which flowers did you want a tutorial on? The marzipan roses or the gumpaste sweet pea?

@Jenn-Thank you! I’m looking forward to making your biscuit style cinnamon rolls!

Tina (PinayInTexas)

That carrot cake looks fab, Maryanne! Great job!

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