My dad has this thing.  This thing for carrot cake.  My mom understands.  Sometimes you just can’t fight a first love.  Here’s his recipe for carrot cake.  He finally had to make up his own because he was always getting too much cream cheese in the frosting when he would order it at restaurants.  

Makes 9 servings.


Cooking oil spray

2 cups white whole wheat flour

4 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

Zest of 1 orange

5 large carrots, grated

2/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup golden raisins (optional)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup orange juice

1 (8 oz) package low-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ tsp vanilla extract

(Add toasted chopped pecans to taste)


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9 x 9 baking pan with cooking oil.

  2. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and zest.  Add the carrots, brown sugar, toasted pecan, and raisins (if using), then stir with a wooden spoon until well-mixed.  Set aside.

  3. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and juice.  Add to dry ingredients, mix well.  Transfer to prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula or butter knife to smooth the top.

  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.  Cool completely before frosting.

  5. To make frosting, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add extract and whip another minute.