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The BEST Carrot Cake

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

So good that before you can start to justify eating more

("This counts as a vegetable, right?"),

it's gone.

This amazing cake is inspired by Ina Garten's Carrot Cake with Ginger Mascarpone Frosting recipe - which is delicious and sure, give it a try. However, after a few years of not only swapping out the sugar for maple syrup but also making minor/significant adjustments here and there...well, dare we say it, our recipe tastes better than the original.

(Full disclosure - ALL respect to Ina, she is a QUEEN of the kitchen and we feel fairly confidant that she would be pleased by our contributions to her work)


for the cake -

1 & 3/4 cups JEM Maple syrup

1 & 1/3 cups vegetable oil

3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 pound carrots, grated

1 - 1 & 1/2 cup chopped pecans (+ at least 1 cup extra for topping....personally, we love pecans)

for the icing -

4 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 - 1/2 cup of JEM Maple syrup (for topping and drizzle, we love First Harvest syrup for this)


for the cake -

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9x13 sheet pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the maple syrup, oil, and eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. Stir in the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.

In a medium bowl, toss the carrots, pecans, and the 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 325 degrees, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.

for the icing -

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla together for about 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add salt and beat for 30 seconds more.

Frost the top of the cake. Sprinkle liberally with chopped pecans, drizzle with JEM Maple (First Harvest is best for this) and serve at room temperature.

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