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Dark Chocolate Carrot Cake

Carrot cake has a dark side—and it’s divine! Cream cheese and shredded carrots in the batter keep the cake moist, while toasted nuts and cinnamon boost the flavor. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 package dark chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) cream cheese frosting


  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, cream cheese, pudding mix, milk, eggs and cinnamon; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in carrots and 1/2 cup walnuts. Pour into three greased and floured 8-in. round baking pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top with remaining walnuts. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 504 calories, 24g fat (8g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate (52g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • StarSapphire12
    Dec 13, 2016

    No comment left

  • sstetzel
    Aug 8, 2016

    Just Mari,Cupcakes should work well. Start checking for doneness around the 20 minute mark.Sue StetzelTaste of Home

  • Just Mari
    Aug 4, 2016

    I would love to adapt this to a cupcake recipe? Any suggestions?

  • kewellman
    Dec 30, 2015

    My husband loves carrot cake and chocolate cake, so this was a natural choice for his birthday. He loved it and so did everyone else! In addition to the cinnamon, I threw in a touch of clove and nutmeg just to give it some extra spice. I actually think I'll add more next time. Also, since I baked in a 9x13 instead of 3 rounds, I had to up the baking time a bit (turned out to be 7 min extra for my oven). I can't really imagine how this recipe wouldn't work for anyone UNLESS they: 1) buy a cake mix with pudding already in it, but don't leave out the pudding mix, or 2) buy "cook & serve" pudding instead of "instant". Either of those could possibly mess up the texture of the batter.

  • Wabbitsan
    Apr 6, 2015

    I tried making this cake; something is missing from the ingredients. The batter was not like cake batter, and it did not bake properly. I've made many cakes in my day, and this one, by far, turned out the worst. I am throwing this one out.

  • grandmaconnie
    Feb 10, 2015

    I made this for my bridge club and everyone just loved it! I used a dark chocolate pudding and I made homemade cream cheese frosting. I also baked it in a 9x13 pan. Several people asked for the recipe. Definitely a keeper!

  • lindsay8582
    Feb 21, 2014

    I made this in a 9x13 pan and put homemade cheese cream icing on top and it was AMAZING! Now the funny part is that my husband loved it when it was warm out of the oven, but not when it was cold after being in the fridge overnight. I didn't care for it warm, but I LOVED it cold!

  • Cindyju
    Jan 22, 2014

    This cake was so good!!! Everyone that tried it love it!! Will defiantly make again...

  • cutshawe
    Apr 16, 2013

    No comment left

  • lenfinger
    Mar 10, 2012

    Made this cake for a potluck; it was a hit. I would make one modification: if you live in a humid climate like I do (Miami FL), either try to find a "plain" cake mix (no pudding in the mix) or omit the instant pudding mix. The cake was way too moist, wouldn't hold its shape and just crumbled. No one cared--there was practically none left and I was asked for the recipt--but it bugged me. I cannot find "plain"cake mix here, so next time, I will omit the pudding mix. Also, it takes almost a pound of medium-sized carrots to make the 3 cups called for. And I made mine in a 13 x 9 inch pan--better for a potluck--baked for the same time as the recipe called for, then started testing it. Took about 35 minutes, but again, in this humid climate, I always find I need to take my cakes for the longer time in the suggested range. With the 13 x 9-inch pan, only needed one can of frosting. Delicious flavor!