If you love a classic carrot cake, then you’ll adore these recipes.

By Kristin Donnelly
Updated June 01, 2017
Carrot cake, that 1970s favorite, has a new audience at luxe restaurants like Manhattan's Le Bernardin. At the Urban Farmer in Portland, Oregon, pastry chef Jodi Elliot prepares the ultimate version: moist and not too sweet.
Tina Rupp

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.

3. As cupcakes. Yep, the classic layer cake makes for equally delicious cupcakes. Top them with the usual cream cheese frosting or upgrade by adding caramel as well.


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.

© Kristen Stevens

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.