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Dessert • Sweet

Kiran’s Comfort Carrot Cake

Kiran Aujla, Habanero Consulting Inc.
Kiran Aujla

Director of Operations

This is the perfect fall/holiday season recipe as it complements coffee or tea by the fire or as an after-dinner dessert that isn’t too sweet. And it has carrots so, you know, vegetables are healthy, right?! I especially love making this cake for my parents, who are vegetarian (I use egg replacer in place of the eggs in the batch for them). It’s become a holiday tradition for me and my niece Simran to make this cake and bake shortbread cookies.

Comfort Carrot Cake



  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½ cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Cream cheese frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with canola oil cooking spray and set aside.

Step 2

Toast the pecans in a frying pan until lightly golden and fragrant. Cool, then chop, setting aside a few whole pieces for decoration.

Step 3

Using an electric mixer, gently cream the butter with the oil. Add the applesauce and the sugar, beating until well combined.

Step 4

In a medium bowl, combine both flours with the baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the nuts.

Step 5

Divide batter between the cake pans and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick or thin knife.

Step 6

Remove from the oven and let the cakes rest in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans and let cool.

Step 7

For the frosting, blend softened cream cheese with sugar, milk and vanilla. Frost the cakes and garnish with chopped toasted pecans, if desired.

Photos from Kiran

A plate of assorted shortbread cookies.
Along with carrot cake, Kiran and her niece bake shortbread cookies as a holiday tradition.
Kiran’s frosted carrot cake garnished with toasted pecans.

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Photos are for inspiration only and do not represent the talents of the Habanero test kitchen. Some snap-happy Habs have shared personal photos of their creations below their recipe.