Not a Vegan Carrot Cake

Della with a Carrot Cake
Dela with her Dome Grown Carrot Cake

With Kesy recovering from surgery for the next couple of weeks, you are stuck with a recipe from yours truly. Since I am not a vegan like Kesy, I couldn’t do a vegan recipe. Instead, I give you my nana’s recipe for the best carrot cake ever with homemade cream cheese icing. She is Sicilian, and the only thing I love more than her cakes is her meatballs. I was inspired to share this with you after finding an image of our assistant gardener Dela with a yummy looking carrot cake made with carrots from our Growing Domes in Pagosa Springs.

Total Time: 1 Hour and 45 minuets Servings: 12

Carrot Cake Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups grated carrots, approximately 5
1 (8 ounces) can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

Her buttercream icing is by far my favorite but you can’t do carrot cake without cream cheese frosting.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
8 oz cream cheese softened (brick-style, not spreadable)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl mix both sugars, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla together with a stand or electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and continue mixing for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the flour until just combined. Add in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts, coconut, and raisins and stir until evenly incorporated.

3. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes on the top rack, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


5. Combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Use a stand or electric mixer and beat until creamy, well-combined, and lump-free.

6. Add vanilla extract and salt and stir well to combine.

7. With your mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.

8. Frost when cake is completely cooled

If you are wondering whether you can take out the walnuts or use regular raisins instead of golden, the answer is yes… and no. You can do it, it just won’t be “the best carrot cake ever” because it’s not nana’s recipe. The only substitution I would consider doing is swapping fresh pineapple with canned especially if it grew in your greenhouse. I hope you liked my guest appearance, and if you didn’t don’t worry, Kesy will be back with vegan recipes before you know it.


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