Grandma’s Old Fashioned Carrot Cake is a deliciously classic recipe full of carrots, cinnamon, pecans, and raisins. It is sweetened with a little crushed pineapple, which also keeps the cake moist and tender.
The Cream Cheese Buttercream is my favorite. With only FOUR INGREDIENTS it is easy to whip up and is super delicious. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the powdered sugar and tartness from the cream cheese. However, the sweetness is balanced and the tartness is calmed by adding a stick of butter.
There are few things more precious in this world than recipes that are handed down from Mothers and Grandmothers. It is so much more than a recipe. It holds the ties to memories of family gatherings and holidays, of conversations and laughter from the kitchen to the table. Not to mention the flavors and smells that can flood your mind with sweet memories of your family and childhood. They are a treasure to behold!
Aren’t Grandma recipes the best?? They are uncomplicated and simply delicious. I love that they only include ingredients that are easy to find… because no one was using jackfruit or sorghum flour back in 1945.
You can always trust that Grandma recipes are tried and true!
Three Tips for Frosting Grandma’s Carrot Cake
If you choose to make this cake in a 9×13 pan, one recipe of the Cream Cheese Buttercream will be plenty. However, if you choose to make the cake in (3) 8 inch round pans I would recommend doubling the buttercream recipe. I find when I frost a layer cake it always takes a TON of frosting to get the job done.
Whether you make your cake one layer or three, I would definitely recommend frosting with 1/3 to 1/2 of the frosting first, in a “crumb layer”. That is professional baker speak for messy layer (BTW I am not a “professional baker”, just so we are all on the same page). That way if some crumbs roll up into that first layer of frosting you are not left with a hot mess. You can then go back with the remaining frosting and cover up the crumb layer. This is the pretty layer.
Dear ol’ Martha Stewart taught me this next tip. If you are frosting a layer cake put a few pieces of parchment or wax paper under the edges of the bottom layer, covering out to the edges of the cake plate. That way when you are done frosting you can pull the paper from under the edges and you are left with a clean and beautiful cake plate.
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I hope you will give this recipe for Grandma’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream a try in your kitchen!
Grandma’s Carrot Cake with Pineapple & Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups finely grated carrots about 5-6 carrots
- 8 ounce can crushed pineapple drained
- ½ cup nuts chopped (I use pecans)
- ½ cup raisins
- ***Optional: 1 cup coconut
Cream Cheese Buttercream
- ½ cup butter at room temperature
- 8 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare your pans with baking spray. You can make this in a 9×13 pan or (3) 8 inch round pans.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, oil, and eggs.
- Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture, a little at a time, until it is well combined.
- By hand, stir in the carrots, drained pineapple, raisins, nuts, and coconut (if using) until it is evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan(s): (3) – 8 inch rounds bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is cooked thru.9×13 glass pan bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake is cooked thru. If the top starts to darken lightly cover with foil for the last 5 minutes.9×13 dark metal pan bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is cooked thru. If the top starts to darken lightly cover with foil for the last 5 minutes.
- If you use 8 inch round pans, once they come out of the oven wait 5-10 minutes before trying to remove the cake from the pan.
- The cakes should be completely cool to the touch before frosting.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, blend together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it is completely blended and smooth.