Food for Thought: How Carrots Ended Up in Cake

Carrot cake: this dynamic duo of dessert and veggies has a cult following, especially around Easter. 

Historians aren’t really sure what the exact root of carrot cake is. One theory places carrot cake’s origins in the Middle Ages as a pudding made from steamed or boiled carrots. 

Fast forward to the health-conscious 1970s, when carrot cake experienced a renaissance in popularity as a “health food.” While carrot cake is full of vitamin-rich carrots, the brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese keep it from being truly healthy—but it’s certainly delicious. It’s around this time that the iconic cream cheese frosting was developed, too.

While carrot cake may not nourish the body, it can absolutely nourish the soul. This simple carrot cake recipe definitely earns its place on your table.

Best Carrot Cake


4 eggs

2 cups light brown sugar

2 cups vegetable oil

2 packed cups grated carrot

3 ⅓  cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup pumpkin seeds

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 eight-ounce pack of cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

⅔ cup gingersnap cookies, crushed


 1. Preheat oven to 355ºF. Grease and line two 8-inch cake tins.

 2. In a stand mixer, combine your wet ingredients first. Whip eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, slowly pour in vegetable oil and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add grated carrots and vanilla extract.

 3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.

 4. Run the stand mixer on medium speed and carefully add the dry ingredients a 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until just combined.

 5. Fold in pumpkin seeds and pour evenly into each cake tin.

 6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

 7. To make the frosting, add butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar into the stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, whip until thick and fluffy. Add a squeeze of lemon juice near the end.

 8. Once cakes are cooled, frost the top of the first cake with cream cheese frosting. Add a layer of crushed gingersnap cookies. Layer the next cake on top and frost the top generously while also lightly frost the sides.

 9. Top with remaining crushed gingersnaps or edible flowers. Enjoy!

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Category: Food & Drink

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