I spend a fair amount of time on reddit reading the baking threads and on r/oldrecipes — which is a subreddit of around 169k people who find old recipe cards and share them– the phenomenon of the “divorce carrot cake” has taken over.
Everytime you turn around someone else has made this carrot cake, so much so that the people over at The Kitchn featured it. After seeing what felt like a million people raving about this carrot cake, I of course needed to know what all of the fuss was all about. What could possibly drive a man to ask his Ex-Wife to make him a birthday cake? What could it possibly be!?!?
Notes about the recipe
The fun thing about this cake, is that it has no sugar, just a lot of honey. Unfortunately, I ruined the no sugar by topping them with some heavenly cream cheese frosting. But in theory, you could totally make this cake even healthier– coconut oil instead of canola; whole wheat flour instead of regular. It’s completely customizable.
The thing that gave me pause, was that there wasn’t any salt in the recipe. I stood in my kitchen for several minutes debating what to do. Should I stay true to the recipe to understand the genius of the recipe as written? Or should I add the salt, because I know I’m going to be annoyed that there isn’t any salt later? After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided to leave the salt out and trust the process.
I omitted the walnuts that the recipe calls for because my daughter is allergic to nuts and she was very interested in a cake that also had carrots in it, so I wanted her to be able to try it. The final decision point was whether or not to make a regular cake or cupcakes. I went for the cupcakes because I hate frosting cakes. Easiest decision so far.
Finally, I made a standard cream cheese frosting as the original poster recommends.
Let’s get decorating…
So while the cupcakes were baking, I decided to over complicate things by making candied carrots to top the cupcakes! The inspiration came from the leftover pineapple juice from the canned pineapples. Those deserve their own post. But look at the curls! So much fun.
The Taste Test
Once the cupcakes were cooled and assembled I asked my husband to come and taste one. He took the cupcake back to the home office and no less than 5 minutes later he was back asking if there was an ugly one he could take off my hands. This is huge. My husband is a “chocolate or bust” kind of guy. This had no chocolate anywhere near it and he ate two in less than 10 minutes.
I was hyped. Once I got the kitchen back in order, I tried one– and realized that I don’t like carrot cake, despite all of that glorious cream cheese frosting and the beautiful carrot curl. For me, it’s a texture thing. All of that fruit pieces just in the cake brought back all of those horrible memories of an older aunt’s fruit cake that you had to eat to be polite.
If I were to make it again perhaps I would puree all of the fruit so that I don’t know they are there. This last sentence, made me realize that I am the reason my daughter is the way she is. Sigh. Anyway, if you like carrot cake, I have it on good authority that this one will totally knock your socks off.
Wildly popular on Reddit, a easy no-mixer carrot cake recipe, filled with pineapple, coconut and raisins, topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
For the Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup oil
- ½ honey
- 3 eggs
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapples, reserve the pineapple juice
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup walnuts, optional
- ½ cup raisins
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Line 2 cupcake tins with muffin liners
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix pour in the oil. Using the same measuring cup measure out the honey (so that the honey benefits from the leftover oil in the cup and slides right into the bowl). Stir in the eggs and pineapple until smooth.
- Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Then add the coconut, walnuts and raisins.
- Fill each muffin tin ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Make the Frosting
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter on high speed until combined, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and add in the remaining ingredients. Slowly increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and mix for 2-3 minutes until the frosting has a smooth consistency.
- Decorate the Cupcakes.
Keywords: Divorce Carrot Cake