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tropical carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting.

I’m a big believer in loving neighbors through food.

Enter Tom.

What I love about Tom is that he makes me feel like the world’s best cook.  And because of that, when we have leftovers or a kitchen full of high calorie carbs I typically bring them over to Tom’s place (especially when I need an ego boost).  Plus he’s like the Godfather of our little neighborhood…always telling you what’s what and who’s who and giving you the inside scoop on virtually everything.

So for his birthday last week I made one of his favorites, carrot cake.

Happy Birthday Tom.

The funny thing about carrot cake is that you’re initially inclined to think it’s pretty healthy.  I mean, we start out with nearly a pound of carrots!

And then you add all sorts of wicked things like oil and sugar and flour.  Uh oh.

And let’s not forget the maple cream cheese frosting.

But every now and then you just have to splurge.  And who better to splurge with than your closest friends and neighbors?

(Tom’s) Tropical Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

(serves 15)

What You’ll Need:

2 cups all purpose flour ($.36 at $.18/cup)

2 tsp. baking soda (trace)

1 tsp. salt (trace)

1 tsp. cinnamon ($.22 at $.22/tsp)

1 tsp. ground ginger (.22 at $.22/tsp)

3/4 cups canola oil ($.36 at $.04/tablespoon)

2 cups sugar ($.60 at $.30/cup)

4 eggs ($.48 at $.12 per)

3 cups grated peeled carrots ($.79 at $.79/lb)

10 oz. crushed pineapple ($.90 at $1.79/20 oz)

1 cup chopped walnuts ($2.00 at $7.99/lb)


10 ounces cream cheese at room temperature ($3.11 at $.31/oz)

5 tablespoons butter at room temperature ($.40 at $.09/tablespoon)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar ($.62 at $.25/cup)

1/4 cup maple syrup or maple agave blend from TJs ($1.00 at $3.99/lb)


Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.  Tap out excess flour.

Mix flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl.  Whisk oil and sugar separately until blended.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.  Add flour mixture to the oil/sugar/egg mixture and stir just until blended.  Stir in carrots, pineapple, and walnuts.  Divide among both cake pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 40 minutes).  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then turn onto racks until completely cool.

For frosting:

Mix cream cheese and butter until well blended.  Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed.  Beat in maple syrup.

When cake is cool, spread half the frosting on top of the first layer.  Then add second layer on top and spread with the rest of the frosting.  There is enough to frost the entire cake, but I prefer to just do the two layers (mostly because I’m really pathetic at frosting cakes).

Serve at room temperature.

TOTAL:  $11.06 or $.74 per serving.


544 calories per serving (I know…we’re splurging here)

29 grams of fat (yes, I know…)

67 carbs (don’t shoot me)

8 grams protein (well that’s something…)

2 grams of fiber

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thomas Park #

    This Carrot Cake is probably the best carrot cake I have ever eaten. Let me re-phrase that again, “IT’S THE BEST EVER CARROT CAKE EVER”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again for the wonderful cake.

    June 6, 2011
  2. carol #

    I figure that if I eat 1/2 the cake I will have met my fiber quota for the day – that’s something too, isn’t it?

    June 6, 2011
    • You bet. I should have included that!

      June 6, 2011

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