I love carrot cake, but I have a confession to make… I hate raisins. I can’t tell you how excited I am whenever I see carrot cake at a family gathering, only to be disappointed when I spot them hiding inside. But that’s the beauty of baking – you can make your cake how you want it – there’s no obligation to use raisins!

A great carrot cake is moist, obviously, and full of carrot-y flavor, with a rich cream cheese frosting. From there it’s up to you!

Do you prefer a hint of refreshing citrus? A confident dash of nutmeg? A cake accented with… eek– raisins? Or something a little more unexpected? Maybe you let the season lead the way… A dash of orange extract and almonds can make a brighter, lighter version of this classic cake for spring. Or maybe you add fresh pineapple and coconut extract to bring a touch of the tropics to summer get-togethers. Gear your cake toward Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Or, pair traditional spices like cinnamon and nutmeg with crunchy walnuts to fill this tried and true favorite with winter holiday flavors. The possibilities are endless!

From spring brunch and summer birthdays to fall festivities and winter gatherings, there’s a carrot cake recipe for every season – and every person. Need inspiration? Start with the basic recipe on the graphic below, and make it your own by selecting a nut, fruit, spice and extract from each row. Happy baking!



Want a more straightforward carrot cake recipe to follow? You can find Diamond’s Favorite Carrot Cake recipe here.