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Three-Layered Carrot Cake Recipe

Three-Layered Carrot Cake Recipe

My mom loved carrots so much she put them in various dishes at least five times a week when I was growing up. Her specialty was a homemade carrot cake that was requested for every special occasion. When I made this for her 70th birthday, she cried with each bite. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + cooling Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:16 servings


  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, optional
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 8 to 8-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • 1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. square baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • 2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk orange juice and sour cream. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and orange peel until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. If desired, beat in thyme. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • 3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Gently fold in shredded carrots and pecans.
  • 4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  • 5. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, orange peel and juice until blended. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency.
  • 6. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 16 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: To decorate cake with carrot ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to shave one large carrot into long ribbon-like strips. Reserve four of the longest strips for sides of cake; roll up remaining strips to make curls for the bow. Arrange long and rolled-up strips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; let dry 30-45 minutes before placing on cake. Decorate frosted cake with carrot ribbons just before serving; if desired, add fresh thyme sprigs.

Reviews for Three-Layered Carrot Cake

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Reviewed Jan. 5, 2017

"Thank you for posting this recipe. I have been looking for a carrot cake recipe that has orange juice in it. I bought a mix one time and you had to add orange juice and it was the best carrot cake ever. Can't wait to make this. I gave it 5 stars without making it, as I know this is a very similar recipe. So happy to have finally found it."

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