Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sam's carrot cake

True confession:  I had never made a carrot cake before when I decided to try this recipe.  Why I had never made a carrot cake is not a mystery.  It’s because I had never eaten carrot cake.  And that is because I didn’t think I would like it.  Those of you who are carrot cake fans or addicts are shaking your heads in wonderment.  And now, of course, so am I.

This recipe, rated 5 stars on and written by the grandson of “Sam,” was followed to a “T,” with the only exception being that I plumped the raisins in orange juice and lowered the baking temperature from 350F to 325F.  From my first bite, I was addicted to carrot cake – its moistness, rich and complex flavors from fruits, nuts and, of course, the carrots – and the creamy frosting that crowns it. 

I loved this cake, its texture and flavor are amazing, but I'm not giving it my top rating.  The reasons:  first, it’s geared to an 8x12 pan.  Who has one?  I was lucky to have in my kitchen a 7.5”x11.75” Pyrex pan, and it worked well.  Next, I think the cake needs more salt and spices.  That being said, I dreamed about this cake when I wasn’t eating it.  After I try other carrot cake recipes, I may come back and change this rating.  But, like I said, I’ve never eaten carrot cake, so I have no reference point. 

Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake
Adapted from
Rating:  9.0 out of 10
Click for printable page
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup raisins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon (I would add 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to this next time)
1/4 tsp. salt (I would increase this to 1/2 tsp. next time)
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk or soured milk (sour milk=3/4 cup milk + 2 tsps. cider vinegar)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

In 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup, microwave orange juice on high till hot, about 20 seconds.  Add raisins.  Leave in microwave (turned off) for 15 minutes or longer to plump raisins.
Heat oven to 325F.  Grease and flour an 8x12 pan.  Line with 2 pieces of wax paper cut to fit bottom of pan.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt.  Whisk in carrots, coconut and walnuts.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla till smooth.  Lightly stir in pineapple and drained raisins.   Add flour mixture and stir lightly with spatula or spoon till combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 1 hour or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs.  
Sam's carrot cake (2)
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.  Remove wax paper. 

Sam's carrot cake (3)

Cool completely before frosting with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.  If desired, sprinkle additional toasted chopped walnuts over frosting. 
Sam's carrot cake (8)


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean said...

Looks delicious!! Welcome to the world of carrot cake!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Welcome to the world of carrots as a dessert. It's so moist, isn't it? I've made Ina Garten's version, without frosting (just powdered sugar). It's totally addicting. Enjoy!

Barbara Bakes said...

I would have pegged you for a carrot cake lover already. So glad you've discovered it. I'll look forward to future carrot cake posts.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love carrot cake and this recipe looks really yummy. Diane

teresa said...

i'm glad you liked it, carrot cake is such a divine treat!

Anna said...

Okay, I have to admit. I'm still shaking my head in wonderment ;). Anyway, glad you discovered carrot cake. Now you have the fun of trying a bunch of different recipes (and restaurant versions) and comparing.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Such a lovely looking cake. I love carrot cakes. It one of my favorites.

briarrose said...

It took me a long time to try carrot cake myself....I used to wonder why people put a vegetable in the middle of my happy fun dessert time. ;)

Beautiful cake and it looks delicious. I've never thought to try pineapple mixed in.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I LOVE carrot cake! Looks great.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner

Debbie said...

I love carrot cake but have never made it before!!! I keep saying that I will though, so maybe one of these days......

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you have seen the carrot cake light! Isn't it so delicious??? This recipe looks like a great version!