Carrot Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Of course carrot cake is a popular American dessert but it is well loved in Trinidad, too. I’ve adapted the recipe to include flavorings and spices that I consider more Caribbean in order to make it uniquely Trinidadian. I find that this cake freezes well, so I often frost one loaf and put another aside for an “emergency” dessert or breakfast offering.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • cups canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon mixed essence
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)


  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons dark spiced rum


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two 9 × 5-inch loaf pans and line the bottom and sides with waxed or parchment paper. Grease the paper as well.

Make Cake

In the bowl of a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together the sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the mixed essence and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Beat the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Stir in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins, if using.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (The cakes should pull slightly away from sides of the pans.) Remove the pans from oven and cool for 15 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely. The cakes keep for one day tightly wrapped, unrefrigerated, or up to 1 month frozen (unfrosted). Frost cakes before serving.

Make Frosting

Combine all the ingredients and using an electric mixer beat at medium-high speed until fluffy. Frost the cake(s) and serve. The frosting keeps for 1 week in refrigerator.