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Layered Carrot Cake

A delicious Layered Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.  Pumpkin puree is added to this cake batter to make this cake rich and tender!

This Layered Carrot Cake is a delicious and healthy option for Carrot Cake. Many carrot cakes have high quantities of oil, but this recipe uses only 1/4 cup of oil, and instead adds 1 cup of pumpkin puree for extra moisture. Makes a moist and flavourful carrot cake.

Layered Carrot Cake

Some Background on the Recipe

A couple of weeks ago I opened up my e-mail and almost fell off my chair.  For real. Almost flat on to the floor.  Now why you ask?  I got an e-mail from Greta Podleski, co-author with her sister Janet, of the cookbooks ‘The Looneyspoons Collection’, ‘Eat, Shrink & Be Merry’, and ‘Crazy Plates’.  Say wha? Greta wanted to know if I would like one of their cookbooks for review…let me think about that for 1 second.  Um yes.  Please. These sisters are Canadian celebrities!  I’ve seen them on their T.V. series Eat, Shrink & Be Merry, and I’ve coveted their cookbooks for years.  I don’t know why I haven’t bought one before!

When their newest book ‘The Looneyspoons Collection’ came in the mail, I waited all of 5 minutes to dive into it.  Let me tell you, this cookbook is SO fabulous.  It’s chock full of healthy, yummy, and inspiring recipes.  Not to mention a tonne of great food trivia, and fun wit! If you are interested in knowing more about them, you can find their website here. It’s definitely one of my new go-to books! This week alone, I have 3 recipes I’m making for dinner!  And then I made a cake…their Carrot Cake!

A Healthier Option for Carrot Cake

I’ve been looking for a healthy recipe for a carrot cake for Easter, and this cake is a great option! I love the addition of pumpkin puree, and the low amount of oil. Fabulous! This cake is rich, moist and so full of flavour!

To Ice or Not to Ice

The answer is YES, you must ice this cake! This Orange Cream Cheese Frosting is AMAZING. It’s creamy, rich and full of delicious orange flavour that pairs perfectly with this carrot cake. Now when it comes to frosting the cake you have options: you can frost the cake in a traditional way with frosting between the cake layers, and frosting covering the entire cake. OR you can frost it in a rustic way like I did here. I love the rustic look of icing it this way, plus is it’s SO easy. And you get more icing with each bite of cake!  Yum!  Icing a cake in a rustic way like this totally takes the pressure off of it having to look perfect!  😉

Carrot Cake Recipe Tips!

  • Chia Seeds: I used whole chia seeds for this recipe only because I didn’t feel like grinding them, and the cake turned out great! You can also leave them out if you wish. If you don’t have chia seeds you can substitute them with flax seeds, oat bran or shredded coconut.
  • Pumpkin: Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
  • Orange Juice Concentrate in the Frosting: If you don’t have this, you can just use 1 tbsp of orange juice. If you find that the frosting isn’t orange-y enough in flavour, add more fresh orange zest.
  • Nuts: This recipe calls for walnuts, but you can also use chopped pecans. Also, if you don’t want nuts, you don’t have to add them.
  • Raisins: If you want to add raisins to your cake, feel free! About 1/2 cup raisins should be good.
  • Icing the Cake:  I didn’t ice my cake the traditional way, instead I only iced the centre and the top.  I did it this way because I’ve always wanted to ice a cake in a rustic way like this, and a carrot cake seemed like the perfect cake for it! If you want to frost your cake in a more traditional way, lay one cake down on a cake plate or serving platter, add a layer of frosting to the top of that cake, then lay down the second cake. Start by adding a thin layer of frosting all over the cake as your crumb coat, then go back and add another layer to cover your cake.
  • Decorative Garnish: If you want to garnish your cake you can sprinkle on some sweetened shredded coconut on top of the frosting.
  • Freezing the Cake: You can freeze the un-iced cakes for up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Bring them up to room temperature before frosting them.

This Carrot Cake is a perfect dessert for Easter, or any time of year! Enjoy.

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Layered Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious Layered Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.  Pumpkin puree is added to this cake batter to make this cake rich and tender!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Scale

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 1/28 oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature (so 12 oz total)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar)
  • 1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest

Carrot Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed or ground chia seeds (I just used 2 tbsp whole chia seeds) See Tips above.
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Instructions

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. First make the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the orange juice and zest, mix well.
  4. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 2 round 9-inch cake pans. You can grease and flour them or line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper like I did in this post.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin, sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients, and using a spoon stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Then gently add the carrots, nuts and coconut. Hand mix.
  7. Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 pans, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes come out clean.
  8. When done baking, cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack.
  9. When the cakes have cooled completely, you can ice them!

Keywords: carrot cake, cream cheese frosting

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Recipe from The Looneyspoons Collection

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Have a delicious day!

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23 Comments

  1. Hello Jo-Anna, a new reader here! I stumbled across your blog and was so happy to see a fellow Canadian, not to mention western Canadian!!

    I was first introduced to Greta and Janet Podleski’s cookbooks when I was given “Eat, Shrink and Be Merry” as a gift, and I have been in love ever since! I am a sucker for carrot cake and this one looks delish!

    ~ Kimberley

  2. That looks soo good, Jo-Anna! Lucky you, getting cook books sent right to your door. Not to mention the email from Greta. How cool! Can’t wait to see what other recipes you try. We love carrot cake, so I’ll definitely give this a try.

    Have a great week! The weather looks like it’s going to be pretty warm. Well, at least the next couple of days. : )

    ~ Catie

  3. Yay! Congrats on receiving that cookbook! I’m going to have to try that recipe – looks like a great way to avoid the oil!

    Fab fotos!

  4. @North…as one who ate 3/4’s of this carrot cake and also not a huge lover of coconut, I can tell you that if anything the coconut adds texture as I didn’t really notice it. Or maybe it was because I inhaled it like a vacuum cleaner…dee-lish!

  5. WooHooo! Loooooooney Spoooons! Way to go Jo! Love these ladies…did you know they have a line of food at Costco? Seriously! Beautiful pics. Love it, making it for the fam this weekend! LMc

  6. What a nice surprise, and just in time for Easter too!:)
    Love the look of the carrot cake, especially the sound of it being of a healthy recipe…just awesome!
    Can’t wait for Easter to be here…it’s just less than a week away!;)

  7. Hello Joanna,

    You seriously crack me up with some of your posts. I love your sense of humor!!! I must try this carrot cake…looks and sounds yummy!

    Thanks for your inspiration and the laughs!

  8. Visiting via Addicted 2 Decorating. I absolutely adore carrot cake.

    I created several spring projects on my blog this week. Please stop by if you have a moment.

    Have a lovely Easter weekend.

  9. Great choice from the Loonyspoons Collection, Jo-Anna, with a yummy Carrot Cake. These girls are from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and I well remember when they first became popular. Did you have a chance to drop by to see my post last Tuesday when I had a telephone interview with Sandi Richard? she is another I admire with her “bringing families back to the Dinner table”.

  10. This cake is GREAT! SO moist and flavorful! I made it this week for my husband’s birthday. Instead of pumpkin puree, I used a cup of baby food carrots (two jars). I left out the coconut, but put in a heaping half cup of golden raisins. The icing is delicious, too! I used lemon zest instead of orange since I didn’t have any oranges in the house. This will be my go-to carrot cake recipe from now on!

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