Pat’s “Almost Famous” Carrot Cake…It’s Easy as Pie

My dear friend, Pat, was a spectacular baker of cakes.  She was “almost famous” around our neck of the woods.  She made scores of wedding and shower cakes,  many were made for people she didn’t know, but were friends of friends of friends who had heard about her… And she never charged for her cakes!  She did enjoy it when she got invited to the occasion.  Pat loved a good party.  For me, it felt like a party anytime I was around her.  She just oozed joy and generosity.   We lost our dear friend two years ago, but she left her cake legacy behind…and some pretty darn fabulous recipes too.

Pat readily shared her recipes (carrot cake listed below.)  Recently I prepared it with a creamed cheese frosting as a two-layer cake for my best friend’s birthday.  And then as petite cupcakes for a graduation party.  They were both hits of the party.  The cake is fruity, moist, and crunchy – with texture coming from the grated carrots, coconut, and chopped nuts and sweetness from the pineapple.  And it’s easy as pie to make. No mixer needed…just dump everything into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.  I hear Pat’s voice every time I bake any cake, “don’t over bake the cake!” she always cautioned.


Mini carrot cakes & full sized fruity, moist, creamed cheesy cake...Pat would have been proud of this one.

Mini carrot cakes & full sized fruity, moist, creamed cheesy cake…Pat would have been proud of this one.

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Pat’s Carrot Cake Recipe:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

¾ cup buttermilk

3 eggs

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

3 ½ ounce bag shredded coconut, either sweetened or unsweetened, your choice.

Grease two 8” cake pans.  Place wax paper on the bottom, cut it to fit the pan, and grease it too.

Dump all of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to incorporate the ingredients.

Pour batter into the two cake pans or greased cupcake papers, ensuring that they’re even.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Once cake starts to pull from the side of the pan and when a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.  Remove and place on a baking rack to cool.  After a couple of minutes, remove cake from the pan.  As a cupcake, bake 18 to 20 minutes.  As a petite cupcake, bake 11 minutes.


Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, Philadelphia brand preferred

¼  pound butter (1 stick), room temperature

10 ounces confectioners powdered sugar

Mix together and chill until ready to use on the cooled cake.  For best results, use a hand mixer.

We’ve reduced the sugar in this recipe versus other recipes as we prefer the cheese taste to stand out.

This cake is so good with hot or iced tea, particularly a Ceylon black tea or a Chai tea.


  1. Sweet, lovely, delightful ~ a beautiful tribute to the woman…and her cake!!!!

    • Just like Pat…right? Sweet and delightful…she made some awesome cookies too for your infamous cookie parties…

  2. Great shot of me cutting the cake.

    • Yep… perfect slices – as usual your knife skills were impeccable 🙂

  3. It’s a great recipe when you just bung everything in a bowl and stir! Your cakes look amazing, and the frosting is wonderful. What a nice way to remember a dearly loved friend, through cakes. I love carrot cake, and I love your choice of teas – spot on.

    • Thank you so much…I think any food with cinnamon or nutmeg tastes even better with a flavorful Ceylon black tea..and for more spice, the Chai tea. What I just love about the handing down of recipes is the memories which are retained with them. In all of the history of mankind, seems to me this is one of the most prevalent ways to honor people we know and keep memories alive.

  4. BEST CAKE EVER!!!! It really is my favorite cake. Not just any carrot cake…it’s gotta be Nana Pat’s!

    • That’s for sure…and aren’t those little ones “guiltless?”

  5. I lOVE carrot cake! Not sure I’ve ever had Pat’s but I’m sure it’s delicious.

    • Well this one is delicious and ought to count as one of your 5 fruits and vegetables for the day … I might have to make one for a wine dinner 🙂

  6. It feels good to confirm what I already know, that Pat was caring,fun loving and the greatest person Ever!

  7. There are some people you come across in life that not only are wonderful, good people, but also ‘good for your soul’….who by their deeds, enhance and enrich others’ lives and demonstrates there is SO much more happiness in giving, than in recieving. Your friend, Pat, was one of those people! I’m looking forward to baking her lovely carrot cake!~Annie from Willow Cottage

  8. Annie, thank you for your wonderful comment. You hit it right on target about my friend – she was good for your soul and truly demonstrated the joy of giving. Let me know what you think of her carrot cake when you get a chance. I think you will just love it! And it is truly sooooo easy to prepare. The batter is quite “wet” – do not over bake it 🙂