Recipes for Life

Cook. Eat well. Be happy.

Carrot Cake


Prep time:

1 hour (plus time to cool cake)

Cook time:

30-45 minutes for cake, plus 20 minutes for pecans




Candied Pecans




Step 0. 

Preheat the oven to 350. 

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Set the butter and cream cheese out to warm to room temperature.


Step 1. Mix the batter

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the wet ingredients.

In another mixing bowl, throughly whisk together the dry ingredients.

Blend the dry ingredients into the wet until well incorporated.


Step 2. Bake the Cake

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 until a toothpick just comes out clean, 30-45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool almost completely in the pan, loosening the edges with a knife or spatula.

Turn carefully onto a platter for frosting (or frost in the pan if preferred). 


Step 3. Candy the Pecans

While then cake is baking, heat the butter, maple syrup and cinnamon in a small saucepan until it begins to thicken. A drop will hang from the spoon and just start to string when you touch it with your finger. 

Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.

Add the pecans and toss to coat.

Lay the coated pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake at 250 for 20 minutes or until the coating is glassy.


Step 4. Make the Frosting 

Place the cream cheese and butter in a high sided bowl or a stand mixer. 

Using an electric mixer, beat on high until fluffy and completely incorporated. Scrape the sides often.

Add the vanilla and blend to incorporate.

Then, beating on low, slowly add powdered sugar until the desired consistency and sweetness is reached. More sugar yields a stiffer frosting.

Place frosting in the fridge until the cake is cooled completely.

Note: If the cake will be in the heat make heat stable frosting with Knox gelatin (see Lemon Sour Cream Pie for instructions).


Step 5. Assemble the Cake

Frost the cake on the top and sides.

Place candied pecans evenly spaced on the surface and sides.

Sprinkle with a hint of cinnamon. 

Serve chilled or at room temperature.