1. With cocoa. Baked in a loaf, this carrot cake is made extra delicious with the addition of cocoa powder and an almond-y streusel topping.
2. With almonds. Instead of using a lot of flour, this simple, unfrosted carrot cake relies on finely ground almonds and whipped egg whites for its structure.
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4. With lemon frosting. Mascarpone, the creamy Italian cheese, is a luscious stand-in for the usual cream cheese. Lemon juice gives the frosting its signature tanginess.
5. With coconut. Coconut flour not only creates a pleasantly dense and flavorful carrot cake, it also makes it fiber-rich and gluten-free!
6. As cookies. Add carrots to your oatmeal cookies and top with cream cheese frosting for a cute riff on carrot cake.
7. As waffles. Make a carrot cake–inspired waffle batter, then top with cream cheese whipped cream. (Feel free to replace the gluten-free flour in the recipe with all-purpose.)
8. As muffins. Feeling like you want to eat something more virtuous? Skip the frosting and add wheat bran to the usual carrot cake.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016) and the blog Eat Better, Drink Better (eatbetterdrinkbetter.com). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.