Inside-out Carrot Cakes

Inside-out Carrot Cakes Recipe
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker
Fun and portable, this easy dessert stuffs sweet cream cheese icing between two flat cylinders of spiced carrot cake. They're perfect for lunch boxes, picnics, or church bake sales.



Makes 10 to 12 cakes
Total time: 1 Hours

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hours

Nutritional Information

Calories 248
Caloriesfromfat 58 %
Protein 2.6 g
Fat 16 g
Satfat 6.9 g
Carbohydrate 24 g
Fiber 0.6 g
Sodium 134 mg
Cholesterol 41 mg


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cookie sheets
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly, finely grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly, finely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla, divided
1 1/2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the fine side of a box grater (to yield 1 cup)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon heavy cream or milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Put a dab of butter in each corner of 2 large baking sheets and line with parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, sour cream, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla; stir in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add carrots and coconut, stirring until just combined.

3. Drop 1-tbsp. circles of batter onto baking sheets about 1 in. apart. Bake until cooked through and browned slightly, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool on baking sheets.

4. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat cream cheese until very soft. Add butter and beat until smooth and well blended. Add powdered sugar a third at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat in cream and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

5. Flip cakes over and spread about 1 1/2 tbsp. frosting on half of them. Top each with a remaining cake, flat side down, to sandwich the frosting.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per cake.


The recipe easily adapts to make a small batch of cupcakes (about 7): Pour batter into lined, 1/2-cup muffin tins and bake at 350° for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in tins 5 minutes, then turn onto a rack. Frost the cupcakes once they're completely cooled.

April 2008
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