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Carrot King Cake

inspired by The Joy of Cooking Makes a 9-inch round 2-layer cake
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c finely grated carrots about 3-4 whole
  • 2-3 tsp lemon or lime zest
  • 2/3 c finely diced fresh or canned crushed pineapple for a measuring guide, see How To below
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp tsp salt
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 c flaked coconut [sweetened or unsweetened] lightly toasted if desired, see How To below
  • 1 generous cup chopped pecan pieces, roasted if desired, see Hints below
  • 8-10 Large Foil Wrapped Chocolate Coins [Optional] Cleaned, see How To below
  • 2 9-inch round circular pans

Icing [can be halved]

  • 2 c [2 80z packages] light cream cheese
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4+ c icing sugar
  • [optional] Coloured Icing sugars or additional chopped nuts or toasted coconut for decoration.


How to Prepare the Coins

  • Soak dollar or two dollar coins in strong [pickling] vinegar overnight and/or place in utensil holder and run through the sterilize setting of your dishwasher.
  • You can also wrap them in pieces of parchment paper before inserting into the cake.

How to Roast the Nuts

  • Place nuts evenly on a baking pan and roast at 350 for 6-8 minutes, until pecans begin to darken slightly.

How to Barely Toast the Coconut

  • Place coconut evenly on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for 3-4 minutes

How to Measure out the Pineapple

  • If you are using fresh pineapple, finely dice pineapple until you have .66 cup. Try to scrape at least a tbs of the juice from your cutting board into your measuring cup as you go. If you are using canned, strain crushed pineapple, reserving juice. Add .66 c of pineapple and about 1 tbs of the juice to the recipe.

Make the Cake

  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Line each pan with a circle of parchment cut to size.
  • Grease and flour lined baking pans or coat with baking spray.
  • Place eggs, carrots, pineapple, zest, sugars, oil, and vanilla into a large bowl and stir until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • With a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined.
  • Fold in roasted nuts and coconut.
  • Pour evenly into 2 9-inch circular pans.
  • Drop your coins evenly around the circumference of one layer of your cake. [We used the 8 traditional points on a compass as our guide.]
  • Bake layers 25-30 minutes or until a skewer or thin knife inserted into the cake comes out almost clean.
  • Cool cakes completely.

Prepare the icing by blending the cream cheese and the butter in a mixer.

  • Add vanilla and sugar by the .5 c until you have the consistency you desire.
  • Ice and layer the cakes.
  • Decorate with traditional Louisiana Mardi Gras coloured sanding sugars or with chopped nuts or coconut.
  • Enjoy!!