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We’ve made this carrot cake from a mix and served it often in our store.

It’s a winner.  Serve this in the store and people buy the mix.  This time we started experimenting, adding different inclusions to the batter.  We found some that worked very well.

Whatever we added to the mix to make these carrot cakes, you can add to your favorite carrot cake recipe.

The Original Carrot Cake Recipe

While you can use any carrot cake recipe to make these variations, the original made with our Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes Mix is pretty darned good plus quick and easy.  All you add is grated carrots, cinnamon, and nuts.  Here it is:

Vanilla Bean Cake Mix
3/4 cup grated carrots
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup nuts


1 four-ounce package of cream cheese (or 1/2 of an eight-ounce block), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Mix cake batter in your stand-type mixer, per package instructions.
  2. Add the 3/4 cup grated carrots, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 3/4 cup nuts to the cake batter. Mix just until combined.
  3. Spread the batter in a greased or parchment lined 9 x 13-inch cake pan and bake for 23 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove the cake (if you are using parchment paper) and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
  5. For the frosting, cream the granulated sugar with the cream cheese.  Add the other ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.

The Carrot Cake Variations

Use our mix or your favorite carrot cake recipe.  Follow the directions either in your recipe or above and make the changes outlined below.  (You may omit the nuts above but we like nuts in this cake.)

Pineapple Carrot Cake:  Drain a can of crushed pineapple, reserving the juice.  Replace the water in the directions with the juice.  Fold in 3/4 cup of well-drained pineapple.

Cinnamon Chip Carrot Cake.  Make the cake exactly as above but add one cup cinnamon chips.  Reduce the cinnamon to one teaspoon.

Candied Ginger Carrot Cake.  Make the carrot cake exactly as above but add 3/4 cup small candied ginger pieces.

Of course you can make other variations.  Don’t overlook the ginger pieces; they are scrumptious in a carrot cake.  Try combining ginger pieces with the pineapple.  You can also add cinnamon chips to either of the other two variations.

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About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and five beautiful granddaughters.