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{ontherun} Carrot Cake

A little over a month ago, I made a bold proclamation. In front of all the multitudes on the internet, I claimed to be an expert carrot cake baker (though I’ve also previously admitted to not being a good baker, so there’s a chance you might want to take that proclamation with a grain of salt). At the time, I had no intentions of actually sharing my carrot cake recipe. It’s one thing to tell you all I believe my carrot cake to be the best thing since baby carrots – another to give you the recipe and have you actually judge for yourselves. But after months of agonized debate (or just a few recipe requests), I’ve decided that it’s finally time to put my money where my mouth is. It’s time to share the {ontherun} carrot cake recipe.

carrot cake slice

It should be stated, however, that I am doing this against EC’s better judgement and advice. He believes there are some things that are so special, so sacred, that they don’t deserve to be shared. Instead they need to be held secret, passed along only through generations of the ontherun family.

But I disagree. As you’ll see, this recipe is really nothing special. And carrot cake love must be shared. It’s the ontherun way.

{ontherun} Carrot Cake

This recipe is neither healthy, nor running fuel (though it makes the perfect post-race treat!). But it’s packed with carrots and fruit, so that’s got to count for a full serving of produce, right?

2 Keys to the Perfect Carrot Cake

I believe the keys to the perfect carrot cake aren’t the carrots – it’s everything else you add in. I like my carrot cake the way I love my ice cream – packed to the brim with different mix-ins. The result: a moist cake bursting with a multitude of different flavors.

Whether or not you’re a fan of all the additions, there are two key things I believe you must do to have a perfect carrot cake.

1.) Soak your raisins

Soaking the raisins in warm water for a few minutes before adding them to the batter plumps them right up, making them extra delicious.

soaking raisin

2.) Plenty of pineapple

Pineapple is the secret to making the cake extra moist. And it perfectly compliments the other flavors, transforming your cake from pretty good to perfection.

crushed pineapple


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2  cups granulated sugar
  • 1  cup vegetable oil
  • 3  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  (heaping!) teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 3  cups shredded carrots (appx 5 medium or one regular-sized bag of baby  carrots)
  • 1  cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1  cup raisins
  • 1  container diced pineapple, drained
  • 1  cup of shredded coconut


For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1  package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 4  cups powdered sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of one 13×9-inch pan or two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with cooking spray (or butter) and lightly flour.
  2. Before preparing the batter, fill a cup with warm water and soak raisins for at least 10 minutes. Drain pineapple.
  3. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and the salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until well combined.
  6. Stir in carrots, nuts, raisins, pineapple, and coconut just until combined. Pour into pan(s).

carrot cake batter

Bake in a 13×9-inch pan for 40 to 45 minutes, or round pans 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Top will be dark.

carrot cake baked

For the frosting:

  1. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and beat with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth and spreadable.
  3. Wait until cooled completely (at least 1 hour) to frost.

Tip: if frosting seems too think, slowly add 1 – 2 tablespoons of milk to thin it out

Slice and devour!

carrot cake

28 Responses to {ontherun} Carrot Cake

  1. I’m pretty sure I would like this sitting in front of me RIGHT NOW!!

  2. I can not deny the expert that this looks delicious. I love all the mix-ins; it’s just not carrot cake to me if it doesn’t have all the inclusions.

  3. Love carrot cake but not raisins. Do you think this would be equally as good without the raisins?
    Lee´s last post ..9 Cold Miles

    • Well of course I’m biased about all this because I love raisins and think they’re awesome in carrot cake. But…although I hate to admit it, I honestly think it would be (almost) just as good without the raisins. There are so many other flavors that you wouldn’t lose too much from leaving them out.

  4. How is it that I just ate a three course meal for a work dinner and I am literally drooling over this?! Nice job with the photos!
    Page´s last post ..Cookin’- World’s Easiest Vegetable Lasagna

  5. Ok…really this looks like the best carrot cake ever!!! I am craving some now!

  6. It’s like a work of art! You have created a masterpiece. I hope to make you proud eat time I bake an {ontherun} carrot cake of my own.

    Also, I love that we can attach the {ontherun} brand to all things – carrot cake, cookies – the sky’s the limit!
    Becky´s last post ..Numbers

  7. Mega yum!!! Thanks for sharing your special recipe! :)

  8. It is my boyfriend’s birthday today, and I was looking for a birthday cake… This is almost a miracle, lol!

    I am going to have to veganize it though, otherwise I can’t eat it until after lent, and that would just be way too agonising…

    It looks lovely, and I absolutely adore raisins (in everything really) but specifically in carrot cake!
    Mari´s last post ..Time for a challenge! Or why I am going vegan for lent…

    • I’m so happy I could help! If you make this and veganize it, please let me know how it turns out!! I’d love to hear what you did, and how it tasted.

  9. I’m glad you decided to share the recipe! This looks like a perfect way to break my sugar-free week 😉
    Liz´s last post ..It’s OK to be a Beginner

  10. I think maybe we need to actually run the same marathon and then celebrate with your carrot cake. And by “think maybe” I mean let’s make it happen.
    Emily´s last post ..Half Marathon Race Report

  11. Totally wishing I had this for lunch right now…I am a carrot cake monster! It’s my favorite by far. Like I said on twitter, I am pumped that you decided to post the recipe, and now I feel like I have to try making it :)
    I completely agree that pineapple makes carrot cake better, and I’ve never thought to soak the raisins – great idea!

  12. Where was this after the race? I must have missed out!!! I love the addition of the coconut and pineapple!
    Lizzy´s last post ..Scallops &amp Cod

    • I know – I’m sorry!! It was tucked away in the back of the van, being stepped on by a rambunctious puppy. Next time!!

  13. Yuuummy! That cake looks so moist and delicious!
    Rach´s last post ..This Italian Villa

  14. oh, my goodness. Carrot cake is my absolute favorite, and this looks SO GOOD. Like, I really want some right now. Just judging by the photo, I would have to agree on your carrot cake-baking expert-ness. :)
    Kelly´s last post ..Just Another Day and Some Perspective

  15. SWOON! if only I knew how to convert American measurements to British (imperial or metric, I’m not fussy). Google to the rescue!
    Laurie´s last post ..Antsy feet

  16. I used to hate carrot cake as a kid (what was I thinking) but I’ve come to crave it in the past few years. I will definitely be testing out this recipe for my next special event…or a random Tuesday!? 😉
    Erin @ Big Girl Feats´s last post ..Loons

  17. My oh me oh my! Lauren, your carrot cake looks out of this world! I’m so glad you decided to share your wonderful recipe with us so that we can try it ourselves. Carrot cake and chocolate cake are my absolute FAV desserts in the world, so I will be making this for sure. I like your tricks, especially soaking the raisins (never did that before!) – it’s very generous of you to share! Not only is this cake delicious, I’ll bet it makes good fuel before a run, eh? 😉

    Have a lovely weekend, Lauren! :)

  18. I LOVE CARROT CAKE. Never thought to soak the raisins! Sounds amaaazing!!

  19. Hi Lauren: Thank you for sharing the recipe. My daughter made your Carrot Cake and wow! Between her great baking skills and your recipe, this was the most amazing Carrot Cake I ever ate.

  20. Your carrot cake is currently in the oven! I’ve been saving it for Easter and can’t wait to see how it turns out. It already smells amazing. Thanks again for sharing the recipe!
    Cathy´s last post ..If We Celebrated Easter Near the Beach

  21. It’s awesome in support of me to have a web site, which is good for my experience. thanks admin
    organicpetlabs.com´s last post ..organicpetlabs.com

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