The Carrot Cake Palooza (or) Celebrating Chapter One: The Birth of a Genius


Yesterday was my birthday.  [As a note, “Chapter One: The Birth of a Genius” is a quote from the Winnie the Pooh movie, which we watched last week and thoroughly enjoyed, not me flaunting my vanity.]  Traditionally, I have a carrot cake to celebrate and Sarah generously agreed to carry on this ritual with me.  However, you can probably see the looming question: what carrot cake recipe should we make?

Well, we could only see one solution: make 4 different kinds of carrot cake and conduct a blinded taste-test to determine which one was the best.  Sarah, my loving (some may say “long-suffering”) wife, kindly agreed to bake four recipes in cupcake form for the grand experiment.  Fear not; she cut the recipes down so we only ended up with about the equivalent of one full-size cake.  Our contenders were:

  1. Mrs. Thompson’s Carrot Cake, hailing from Taste of Home magazine!
  2. Carrot Cake for a Crowd, all the way from Get the Sugar Out, a book!
  3. Carrot Sheet Cake, clipped from the Raleigh News and Observer!
  4. Paleo Carrot Cake, found in the internet!


Originally, we planned to conduct the experiment after dinner on my birthday.  However, after Sarah spent the bulk of Saturday working in the kitchen, she gently suggested doing the testing Saturday evening, to spare her nerves from the strain of further secrecy measures.  With all those tantalizing cakes sitting out, oozing scrumptious odors, I was only too happy to oblige.  The results were as follows:

  • In fourth place, in fact, a cake only in name, came the Get the Sugar Out recipe.  Not what I expected at all, I managed to choke down a few bites.  This was through no fault of the awesome chef; we were misled by an otherwise delightful book.  The cupcakes were very heavy and not sweet at all.  In reality, they were more like muffins with pineapple cream cheese spread.  Which is exactly how I treated them at breakfast this morning.
  • Coming in third was Mrs. Thompson’s Carrot cake, from Taste of Home.  After the first bite, I described it as “deliciously moist”.  A pretty standard recipe, with the exciting addition of crushed pineapple.
  • Ranked second, the recipe from the newspaper.  Almost identical to the Taste of Home recipe, but without pineapple.  As a result, this cake was a bit fluffier, but a very similar taste.
  • Our big-time winner was… the paleo recipe!  I think we were all a bit surprised, but our ventures into paleo baking have only yielded tasty results thus far.  It had a distinctly different, but still carroty and delicious taste.  The winning recipe is found below.

Preparing all these recipes was truly a labor of love from my wife.  She was far better to me than I could ever deserve and I cannot be thankful enough to have her.

In case you’re interested, here’s the pre-tasting video and post-tasting video. Below is the winning recipe as we made it. (It has a few changes from the original.)

Paleo Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: ~12 cupcakes (or one 9″ round cake)


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 large grated carrots
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add wet ingredients and mix on low until well-combined.
  3. Pour into cups (or pan, if you aren’t making cupcakes)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 or so minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool and frost.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 T full fat coconut milk

Mix together, then spread on cake.

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