See Printable Recipe for a quick list.
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (239 grams)
I like the rich taste and heavier texture you get with all dark brown sugar. Many carrot cake recipes call for half granulated sugar, if you’d prefer. You can also choose light brown sugar.
1 cup light vegetable oil
I bought the cheapest generic light vegetable oil they had. If you want to be more specific, get canola oil.
4 large eggs
I always be sure to get local eggs. These were $2.19/dozen.
2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
I just use generic all-purpose flour for these cakes. You wouldn’t want cake flour for a carrot cake because the fine texture just wouldn’t match.
But, if you prefer, you can use all or part whole wheat flour, or maybe add some bran. You could also use part flax seed flour or add some flax seeds.
2 teaspoons baking powder
With all the heavy ingredients in this cake, if your spoons are a little heaping, that could be a good idea.
Check the expiration date!
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
This is a lot, but it works with the pineapple’s acidity to fire up the baking powder to raise all the heavy ingredients. If you leave out the pineapple, cut this in half.
1 teaspoon salt
You can use sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan rock salt if you prefer.
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(or a good grating)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
This spice blend is optional, but recommended. You can just use the cinnamon if you don’t like the rounded spice flavor. Fresh grated nutmeg is always best.
8 ounces crushed pineapple
Pineapple adds more moisture and a fresh taste. Some people don’t like it. If you leave it out, double up on the applesauce so you won’t get a dry cake.
1/2 cup applesauce
If you’re making a 13×9 inch cake, you can increase this to a full cup if you want, which will give you a moister, heavier cake. Some people prefer that.
14 to 16 ounces small carrots
I didn’t get the organic carrots this time because they didn’t look that fresh, but I usually do.
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Here, I used 1/4 cup of hazelnuts and 1/4 cup of pecans because they were marked down. Walnuts are good, too.