Our 30th anniversary deserved a cake, and what cake better represents EatingWell than one with vegetables? While many homemade carrot cakes include pineapple in the batter, we made a jammy filling with it instead to tuck between the layers.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 2020


Recipe Summary

1 hr 20 mins
2 hrs 20 mins

Nutrition Profile:



Candied Carrot Curls


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

  • Stir flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, buttermilk, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir until just blended. Stir in shredded carrots. Divide the cake batter between the prepared baking pans.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Loosen the edges and invert the cakes onto cooling racks. Peel the parchment off the tops of the cakes and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

  • Meanwhile, to prepare filling: Combine pineapple and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the pineapple is very soft, about 15 minutes. Crush the pineapple with a potato masher and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid is reduced, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  • To prepare carrot curls: Cut greens from carrot; reserve for garnish, if desired. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot into long strips.

  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the carrot strips and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Drain the carrot strips in a colander; let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the carrot strips in an even layer on it. Bake until dry but flexible, about 20 minutes.

  • While the carrot strips are still warm, wind them around the handle of a wooden spoon to make curls. Return the curls to the pan and let cool until crisp, about 5 minutes.

  • To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

  • To assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread the pineapple filling on top. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Decorate the cake with pecans, the carrot curls and reserved carrot greens, if using.


To make ahead: Store carrot curls (Steps 5-8) airtight at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Equipment: Parchment paper

Nutrition Facts

1 piece
356 calories; protein 6g; carbohydrates 49g; dietary fiber 5g; sugars 29g; fat 15g; saturated fat 4g; cholesterol 40mg; vitamin a iu 4549IU; vitamin c 11.9mg; folate 14mcg; calcium 57.9mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 35mg; potassium 240mg; sodium 365mg; added sugar 24g.