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Hop to It!

Delicious Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

By Alexandra Russo

Photo by Alexandra Russo
Photo by Alexandra Russo

It’s time to kiss those winter blues goodbye and pucker up to spring!

Ever since I was a little girl, spring has always meant two things: Easter is coming and that very soon I would be able to indulge endlessly in all kinds of chocolate—lots and lots of chocolate. And while I haven’t (and don’t ever foresee) giving up my chocolate fix, I have, however, added this carrot cake recipe to my must-eat spring list.

A few years back, I was asked to bring a carrot cake to Easter dinner. Not knowing where to start, I went through a few cookbooks only to find many complicated recipes. So in the end I decided I would combine the best elements of each and make my own version. The result was a beautifully moist, flavourful, and textured cake that became a huge hit with family and friends. With many Easters having passed since then, I’ve perfected this recipe to make it easy for anyone.

So go ahead and hop to it! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Carrot Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup drained, crushed, canned pineapple
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

*Note that pecans are a traditional addition to the recipe, but they can be left out if you prefer or if you’re serving people with allergies.


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet mixture in the medium bowl over the dry mixture in the large bowl and stir until all the ingredients are moistened.
  6. Stir in carrots, pineapple and pecans until combined well.
  7. Pour and spread batter into the greased and floured pan.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan on rack.

Cream Cheese Icing

Now for the best part! To finish off your carrot cake, try this version of cream cheese icing.


  • 1 packaged block of cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar


  1. In a bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Beat in icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth.
  4. Spread a thick layer over the top and sides of the cake.

Photo by Alexandra Russo

You can now decorate your cake any way you choose. Adding additional nuts around the base of the cake is a sophisticated touch or you can even add mini Easter egg chocolates around the top as something special for kids.

This recipe also works very well for making cupcakes. Simply follow the same directions above, but instead place the batter into a muffin pan. Remember to line each cavity of the pan with paper cupcake liners. Also make a note that the cupcakes will cook faster than the whole cake so try baking them for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a random cupcake comes out clean.

Happy baking and happy eating!

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