out sick + the best carrot cake ever.

by Janetha on March 27, 2013

in recipes,unfortunately

i woke up this morning feeling like my throat was swollen shut. ugh. i went all winter escaping sickness, but it caught up with me today for some reason!

i never call in sick. well, rarely. once in a very great while. but today, i just couldn’t hang with the day job.

instead, i stayed home with these monsters…

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they’re sweet. so are my family and friends!

marshall left me some fruit & veggie juice to help the sickness…

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my friends brought me coffee + a cake pop…

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and momma b brought me some essential oils for this natural sore throat solution

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big thanks to all of them!

the only upside to being sick? missing this workout today. ummm.. thanks, but no thanks.

sooo.. enough sick talk. let’s talk cake!


i have been meaning to dedicate a post to the very best carrot cake ever before easter rolls around.. so today seems like as good a day as any to do so!

i have made this carrot cake every easter for the past three years.

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it is, by far, the BEST.. as the recipe title implies. i will be making it again this sunday. after all, it is an easter tradition!


the best carrot cake.
slightly adapted from myrecipes.com 
prep time: 15 minutes, bake time: 30 minutes
yield: one triple-layer 9-inch round cake


for the cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups evaporated cane juice or white sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 TB vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3.5 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped roasted pecans
*you can make your own buttermilk by combining 5/8 cup milk and 2 TB vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes prior to adding to the recipe.


for the buttermilk glaze:
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (see note above, replace 1 TB of regular milk with vinegar in the half cup for this ingredient)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 TB vanilla bean paste or extract


  1.  preheat oven to 350*. line three round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. set aside.
  3. using a hand or stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a little at a time until fully incorporated.
  5. fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans.
  6. distribute cake batter evenly among the three cake pans. bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. while the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. bring to a boil. boil the mixture, stirring often, for five minutes. remove from heat.
  8. drizzle the glaze over the baked cake layers. let cake cool completely.
  9. while the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. using a hand or stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. add vanilla. slowly add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until fully incorporated and frosting is smooth.
  10. spread the frosting onto the cake with a layer between each cake, on the top, and on the sides. garnish with a baby carrot and parsley, if desired.

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this carrot cake is definitely the best i have ever eaten! it is decadent and delicious and very worthy of the traditional easter dessert title.


1. what is one of your favorite holiday traditions?

2. what is your favorite kind of cake?

xo. janetha g.

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Rachel McIntyre March 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Ooh, carrot cake is my favourite! I like it so much it was my wedding cake :) I must try this recipe. Thanks!

Hope you get well soon.

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

It was my wedding cake too! :)

Karey @ Nutty About Health March 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm

OMG. I LOVE carrot cake, it is my fave!! Sounds fantastic, thanks for sharing!
Hope you’re feeling better!!

Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Oh yum! Carrot cake is one of my favorites!

Linz @ Itz Linz March 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm

feel better, girly!!! are those doterra essential oils?! they’re the best, for sure!! my favorite kind of cake is cheesecake… mmmm so rich and so creamy!

Janetha March 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm

yep! love doterra

sherice@foodieluvsfitness March 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

I was gonna ask the same thing about the oils. I’ve been thinking about ordering and doing the member to get a discount but they are so expensive. I’m thinking this is one of those times that you get what you pay for?! And I like that they can be used internally and externally.

maria March 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Today’s workout was SO hard… :( I quit halfway through because I felt like I might hurt myself if I kept going. Gotta practice those PCs.

Jen @nutcaseinpoint March 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I am in LOOOVE with my mom’s homemade Wacky Cake. But any cake from scratch will do in my book! ;)

Allie@LiveLaughEat March 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

The only things I see/get when I’m sick are snotty tissues and my bed. You are a loved lady!!!! Get well soon, Janetha. That little carrot totally looks like fondant.

BroccoliHut March 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm

What a gorgeous cake! Seth’s mom used to make him a carrot cake for his birthday every year, but since we’ve been dating he’s requested a pumpkin pie instead. It’s kinda fun because his birthday is in April (next week, actually), so it gives me an excuse to get excited about pumpkin again even though the holidays are long gone.

Jan @ Sprouts n Squats March 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Carrot cake is by far my absolute favourite! This looks so so good :) love that you make it every year

Kenzie @ sarcasminspandex March 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I think the baby carrot and parsley sealed the deal for me. This looks delicious. I didn’t love carrot cake until about 2 years ago. I started craving it to the point that I’d drive clear to Harmon’s to buy myself a slice from the deli. I just may try this on Saturday. Thanks lady.

My favorite cake is a family recipe for triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate sour cream frosting coated with homemade coconut pecan frosting.

I don’t have many holiday traditions for food but I do make homemade cinnamon rolls twice a year in April and October.

Katie March 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Boo sorry you sick. But yay for cake! I actually made carrot cake waffles today and thought of you and your traditional Easter cake.

Becky @TheBexFactor.com March 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Being sick sucks. I’m sick too, haven’t been this in years. Hopefully you feel better soon.

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Oh no! Feel better!!

Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness March 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I love Penny’s face in that picture. I hope you feel better soon!

Holly Waterfall March 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

love LOVE doTERRA.
carrot cake is a very close second to my favorite cake, german chocolate (which i mostly love for the coconut pecan frosting)

Kristina March 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Ummmm, I love all cake equally. I don’t discriminate :)

You’ve got such a great “Get Well” squad! Hope you feel better soon.

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish March 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Aww, I’m so sorry you’re feeling cruddy! I agree with Kristina–between the pups, your cake pop-bringing friends, and Momma B, you’ve got a pretty great crew looking after you. :)

Love carrot cake! It’s my third favorite, after cheesecake (if that counts) and ice cream cake. I actually took a stab at my mom’s famous recipe for the first time on Valentine’s Day this year, and besides a few minor snafus (the oven was 100 degrees higher than it was supposed to be for the first 10 mins!), it turned out really well! I’ve always had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but I’d love to try this buttermilk glaze sometime, too!

Ellen March 28, 2013 at 2:17 am

Wow, the carrot cake looks so good. I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite cake, it would depen on my mood! Carrot, red velvet, and chocolate(but only if ridiculously dense and not dry) would be the main contenders. And coffee cake!

Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) March 28, 2013 at 4:08 am

Carrot cake is my absolute FAVORITE cake. Well, and chocolate. And german chocolate. And vanilla with chocolate frosting. Gah! No end in sight. ;)

Feel better soon!

katie March 28, 2013 at 4:59 am

Sending you lots of love and get well wishes girl! I hope today you wake up feeling a lot better!

Momma B is just the best, love her! Your friends are so sweet too, the cake pop looks good!


Lindsay's List March 28, 2013 at 6:22 am

you’ve just gotten prettier and prettier over the last three years.

Tamara March 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

Hope you’re feeling better today, J! <3

Erica March 28, 2013 at 7:15 am

I’m sick too! It started to hit me during the day yesterday and by the time I was teaching step at night, I was a mess. I’m feeling a bit better today- hope you are too! That cake looks SO good every time you make it…mmmm :) My favorite cake? Probably ice cream

Corrie Anne March 28, 2013 at 7:43 am

Sucks that you’ve been sick – glad everyone has been taking good care of you. We love carrot cake too. I alway make it for Kevin’s birthday and our anniversary. I mostly just like the frosting though.

Lauren March 28, 2013 at 8:06 am

Carrot cake = my absolute FAVORITE cake in the world and I know you have a baller one created every year for Easter. I’m drooling!
Feel better hun! So sorry you are sick. :(

Haley @ The Saucy Apple March 28, 2013 at 8:23 am

I LOVE carrot cake! I’ve only ever made it once because I don’t bake all that often, but I always order it when I go out. It’s funny how carrot cake can taste so different depending on who makes it and where you go. I’m always on the look out for a moist cake with lots of texture and rich flavor and (of course) a cream cheese frosting. :)

Meghan @ After the Ivy League March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am

Your carrot cake looks so good! I love a tradition like that! I’m baking a few desserts for Easter this year too and trying to narrow down some recipes. Carrot cake cupcakes might make the cut, I loveee the cream cheese frosting!

Annette@FitnessPerks March 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

I looooovveeee carrot cake. SOOO good. And yours looks fab!

Feel better soon! doTERRA stuff rocks–and its why I’ve not gotten sick this entire season! fingers crossed ;)

Lisa March 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Feel better soon!! My Mom told me she has the same thing right now. It seems like right when Spring comes around, people either skip the flu or get it super bad. I hope not too catch it.
My favorite type of cake…is the icing on the cake haha. I’m not a huge cake lover, but give me the icing and I’m all about that!
I’ve actually never had carrot cake before! Kind of odd, but I’ve never tried pie or anything like that either. I was a picky child.
Dogs are always the best company when you’re sick. It’s like they know you feel bad.

Coco March 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Yum! Looks like a super tasty recipe!

Biz March 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Hope you feel better Janetha! I am pretty lucky, other than a couple bouts with bronchitis about 5 years ago, I haven’t had a sick day in years. Of course, I just jinxed myself by saying that!

Yep, my carrot cake recipe calls for TWO CUPS of oil AND sugar! No wonder its amazeballs! I deem your carrot cake insulin worth too though!

Have a nice Easter!

Bria @ West of Persia and Yoga With Bria March 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Feel better :-) That cake looks seriously amazing.

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