Black Folks Southern Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe

Sharing is caring!

This is my favorite recipe for carrot cake! 

It’s 100% made from scratch, easy to make, full of Southern soul food spices and flavors. Ultimately delectable and delicious! 

And most importantly, it’s my Ma-Ma’s recipe – my paternal great-grandmother. An esteemed 4-foot something small, one-woman catering powerhouse! 

Florence English (my Ma-Ma) was single-handedly responsible for many of the high affluent events (for both Blacks and Whites) in the Wilson, North Carolina area in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

Black Folks Southern Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe

 

Grandma’s old fashioned carrot cake recipe

Love old-fashioned dessert recipes? 

This simple hand-written carrot cake recipe was passed down from generation to generation. 

One of the reasons behind this recipe’s blockbuster success is a secret ingredient that makes this carrot cake recipe the moistest and most delicious! 

 

 

How do you make homemade carrot cake?

I need to point out this Southern soul food carrot cake recipe’s secret ingredient.

How do you make a moist carrot cake recipe?

This recipe has my great-grandma’s secret carrot cake ingredient, the addition of beaten stiff egg whites to moisten the cake batter.

So if you come across another recipe that includes this secret ingredient… You’ll know that the original recipe came from my great-grandmother’s featured recipe right here!

 

Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe

 

Because this carrot cake is my great-grandmother’s very own recipe development, it’s way older than me.

So, it took some serious family conversations and convincing to share it with you and the rest of the world today.

So, you better be crying tears of joy when eating it! – just kidding (not kidding! ;-)

An inherited soul food recipe from my great-grandma, this Southern carrot cake is the BEST carrot cake you’ll ever have!

It’s my family’s tradition to serve carrot cake for Easter dinner every year. 

 

The Best Southern Soul Food Easter Sunday Menu Ideas
The best Easter soul food menu & easy Easter Sunday dinner ideas- carrot cake, deviled eggs, sweet potato pie, honey baked ham & more!
Check out this recipe!
The Best Southern Soul Food Easter Sunday Menu Ideas

 

So before I dive into the recipe, it’s important to share a bit about classic carrot cake made the Black folks’ way. 

 

Moist Carrot Cake Recipe

 

What nationality is carrot cake?

Carrot cake is thought to have originated in England during World War II in the ’30s and ’40s when housewives began using carrots to naturally sweeten their confections.

 

What is Black Folks Southern soul food carrot cake?

Soul food carrot cake is a Southern dessert specialty enjoyed by many African-American families as a sweet holiday tradition. Black folks tend to make a more spiced carrot cake with classic homemade cream cheese frosting. 

This recipe is bursting with the flavors of carrots, the crunch of Black walnuts, spice of nutmeg, plus a creamy texture from beaten egg whites, along with the beautiful aroma of cinnamon.

 

Why is a carrot cake called carrot cake?

Carrot cake’s name is derived from the shredded carrot found in the recipe. The carrot was initially added to give the cake a naturally sweet flavor with a moist texture. 

Carrot cake today still incorporates carrots with granulated sugar as the sweetener. It’s rich and flavorful, often topped with nuts and a cream cheese frosting.

 

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake Recipe

 

Kitchen equipment for Black folks soul food carrot cake

 

Best Instant Pot Comparison Guide
Don't have an Instant Pot? 
Get yours now & enjoy all the benefits!
Which Instant Pot is best for you?
Use this Instant Pot comparison guide for info and ease in purchasing your next Instant Pot appliance!
Check it out!
Instant Pot Comparison

 

Shop my kitchenware!

KitchenAid stand mixer  |  KitchenAid flex edge beater  | KitchenAid stand mixer slicer/shredder attachment  |  Instant Pot Omni Plus oven  |  The Pioneer Woman measuring bowls  |  Amazon small rubber spatula  |  The Pioneer woman flour sifter  |  Amazon Bundt pan  |  Amazon baking cooling racks  |  Amazon stainless steel mixing bowls  |  MacKenzie Childs Flower Market pedestal platter  |  Anthropologie similar cloth napkins  |  The Pioneer Woman plate  |  Target hologram silverware|

 

Ingredients for Black folks soul food carrot cake

  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of hot water
  • 1 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1 cup of black walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ a cup of black walnuts, finely chopped to garnish

 

Ingredients For Black Folks Soul Food Carrot Cake

 

Ingredients for Black folks soul food carrot cake cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened or whipped cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

What is Black Folks Southern soul food carrot cake?

 

Instructions for Black folks soul food carrot cake

  1. Grease and flour a 9-10″ Bundt cake pan and set it aside.
  2. Mix the vanilla extract, sugar, vegetable oil, egg yolks, and hot water in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Gradually pour the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredient mixture and electric mix to combine.
  5. Add the grated carrots and stir in by hand.
  6. Then add the chopped walnuts and also stir in by hand. The mixture will then become slightly stiff.
  7. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. (When you lift up your beater, you want a nice peak that holds its shape and stands straight up.)
  8. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until the whites disappear. The mixture will then significantly loosen.
  9. Pour the batter into the greased and floured cake pan.
  10. With a close eye on the carrot cake while it’s in the oven, bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes in the conventional oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If using the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven, bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Remove the carrot cake from the oven and set the cake pan on a baking rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  12. Then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and onto a baker’s cooling rack.
  13. Allow the carrot cake to cool to room temperature for at least 2 hours before optional frosting. 
  14. This Southern Black folks’ homemade carrot cake recipe is usually served with homemade cream cheese frosting garnished with finely chopped walnuts. (Frosting instructions below.)

 

Why is a carrot cake called carrot cake?

 

Instructions for the homemade carrot cake cream cheese frosting

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes or until stiff.
  3. Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. 
  4. Once the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer up to medium and beat for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Spread the cream cheese frosting onto the cooled carrot cake.
  6. Optionally, garnish with chopped walnuts, crushed pecans, or carrot cake crumbs.
  7. Slice, serve, and enjoy! 

 

Black folks Southern soul food carrot cake recipe FAQs

 

What do you serve with carrot cake?

Carrot cake is best served with warm eggnog or cold vanilla ice cream!

African-American families like mine often enjoy soul food carrot cake as an Easter or Christmas Southern dessert tradition after indulging in other holiday favorites like: 

 

Black Folks Soul Food Easy Christmas Dinner Menu
A soul food Christmas dinner menu is Southern soul food entrées and Black folks recipes. Try these Black folks’ easy Christmas dinner ideas!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Soul Food Easy Christmas Dinner Menu

 

Black folks Southern soul food carrot cake recipe FAQs

How do you store carrot cake?

Carrot cake has a delicate cream cheese frosting, so it’s recommended to store it in your refrigerator. 

Keeping the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days is OK. If you prefer to serve it a room temperature, put it out of the fridge before you are ready to serve.

Pro tip: Refrigerating a cake with cream cheese frosting for a few hours will give it a firm texture, making slicing easy upon serving.

 

Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Red velvet cake is considered to be soul food of the South!
A Black folks' Southern red velvet cake is a made-from-scratch decadent red sponge cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. A cake that's just sweet enough to be irresistible!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake

 

Can you freeze carrot cake?

Yes, you can freeze carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting for three months! 

Pro tip: Freeze carrot cake by the slice and wrap individual pieces in parchment paper or plastic wrap. And then in foil before freezing for manageable portions that you can thaw and enjoy quickly!

 

How long does carrot cake keep?

Decorated with icing and nuts or unfrosted, you can store carrot cake in the refrigerator for up to a week. Carrot cake will last for about 2 to 3 months in the freezer. 

 

Black Folks Carrot Cake Recipe

 

What makes this carrot cake recipe the best?

One of the reasons behind my great-grandmother’s old-fashioned carrot cake recipe’s blockbuster success is the secret ingredient, beaten egg whites. 

 

How do you make carrot cake moist from scratch?

Egg whites beaten to stiff peaks make this carrot cake recipe extraordinarily moist and delicious! 

 

What are stiff peaks in eggs?

Stiff peaks are formed when you lift up your beater, and you get a nice peak that holds its shape rather than melting away like soft peaks.

 

What is your secret ingredient for moist carrrot cake?

 

How long does it take to beat eggs to stiff peaks?

Usually 4-5 minutes by simply beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form (the tips stand straight).

 

What would you recommend as a good sub for eggs to make the cake vegan?

Instead of eggs, you could use applesauce, carrot puree, coconut oil, pineapple, or mashed bananas for a vegan carrot cake recipe.

 

Grandma's Old Fashioned Carrot Cake Recipe

 

What are other acceptable swaps for this recipe?

Once when I was out of white granulated sugar, I’ve used brown sugar for a still delicious recipe.

 

How do you grate the carrots for carrot cake?

Though you can chop the carrots for the cake, you can also use a box grater to grate the carrots. 

  1. Put the box grater on your cutting board.
  2. Leverage the box grater’s holes to scrape the carrot’s pointed end along the holes with a downward motion. (Make sure your fingers and hands stay out of the way!)
  3. Using the same shredding motion, shred the carrots until the last 2 inches are reached.

 

How do you make a moist carrot cake recipe?

 

Can you grate carrots in a blender or food processor?

Or better yet, can you use a KitchenAid mixer as a food processor to grate the carrots?

You can grate carrots quickly and easily in a food processor. 

Or, like I did, use a KitchenAid stand mixer with the slicer/shredder attachment

All KitchenAid stand mixers are compatible with attachments that transform them into fully-functioning food processors. Like shredding and slicing.

I also used the stand mixer with attachments to chop the walnuts for the cake.

 

Southern Soul Food Easter Dinner Sides – Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
What are the best Easter dinner sides?
Start with this easy Southern soul food recipe for brown sugar-glazed carrots. A Black folks' Easter dinner soul food favorite!
Check out this recipe!
Southern Soul Food Easter Dinner Sides – Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

 

Why do you grate the carrots instead of chopping them?

Grating the carrots will allow you to easily incorporate them into the cake faster and more evenly than if they were chopped.

Also, carrot cake would not be as yummy trying to bite through a soft cake with complex pieces of chopped vegetables!

 

Should the carrots be more finely or coarsely grated? 

Finely grated carrots are preferred for ease in mixing and eating.

 

How Do You Make Carrot Cake Moist From Scratch?

 

Who would think to mix carrots into a cake?

Carrots are a naturally sweet vegetable available throughout the year. So it’s to no surprise when bakers began using carrots to naturally sweeten their confections. 

In addition, carrots are pretty soft and can withstand cooking. Making them an ideal ingredient for a cake!

 

What is a Jamaican carrot cake?

A Jamaican carrot cake is a cake made with grated carrot, nuts, raisins, eggs, coconut milk, and spices. 

Jamaican carrot cake is similar to a soul food carrot cake recipe because of the spices.

 

How can you incorporate pecan in this carrot cake recipe?

Do you love pecans? 

Then simply replace the walnuts in the recipe ingredients with chopped pecans for a Southern soul food carrot cake recipe that’s still as delicious as the original recipe!

 

Black Folks Southern Pecan Pie Recipe
Black folks' Southern pecan pie recipe is an old-fashioned African American soul food classic that yields an abundance of sweet flavor with each bite.
Brown sugar is combined with a syrupy pecan filling, caramelized, and then baked.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Pecan Pie Recipe

 

Can carrot cake be made ahead?

Absolutely! A great idea is to make your carrot cake up to 2 days ahead and keep it covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. 

When ready to serve, let the cake stand at room temperature. Frost it and then sprinkle walnuts or pecans over the cream cheese frosting, and enjoy!

 

What kind of oil is for Southern carrot cake with cream cheese icing?

My great-grandmother’s old-fashioned carrot cake recipe here calls for vegetable oil as it will help make the cake tender. Vegetable oil makes your cake moist but doesn’t make it greasy.

 

Instructions For Black Folks Soul food Carrot Cake With Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Do you have a recipe for the cream cheese frosting? 

Yes, it’s in the recipe card below and includes cream cheese, butter, granulated and powdered sugar, and vanilla.

 

What do you think of this Black folks’ Southern soul food carrot cake recipe?

Love carrot cake?

Then you’ll love this inherited soul food carrot cake recipe over half a century old and straight from the recipe archives of my great-grandma!

Have you had carrot cake?

Would you make it? 

Lemme know in a comment below and subscribe to me for all the soul food recipes!

 

You may also like these soul food recipes:

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide

 

Black Folks Southern Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe

Black Folks Southern Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe

Soul food carrot cake is a Southern dessert specialty enjoyed by many African-American families as a sweet holiday tradition.
Black folks tend to make a more spiced carrot cake with classic homemade cream cheese frosting. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black folks carrot cake recipe, carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting, Grandma's old fashioned carrot cake recipe, moist carrot cake recipe, soul food carrot cake recipe, Southern carrot cake recipe, vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 445kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • KitchenAid stand mixer slicer/shredder attachment (optional)
  • Flour sifter
  • 9-10″ Bundt cake pan
  • Baker’s cooling rack
  • Instant Pot Omni Plus oven (optional)

Ingredients

Ingredients for Black folks soul food carrot cake

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups sugar granulated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 ½ teaspoons water hot
  • 1 cup carrots grated
  • 1 cup black walnuts finely chopped
  • ½ cup black walnuts finely chopped to garnish

Ingredients for Black folks soul food carrot cake cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened or whipped cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Instructions for Black folks soul food carrot cake

  • Grease and flour a 9-10″ Bundt cake pan and set it aside.
  • Mix the vanilla extract, sugar, vegetable oil, egg yolks, and hot water in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a separate mixing bowl.
  • Gradually pour the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredient mixture and electric mix to combine.
  • Add the grated carrots and stir in by hand.
  • Then add the chopped walnuts and also stir in by hand. The mixture will then become slightly stiff.
  • Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. (When you lift up your beater, you want a nice peak that holds its shape and stands straight up.)
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until the whites disappear. The mixture will then significantly loosen.
  • Pour the batter into the greased and floured cake pan.
  • With a close eye on the carrot cake while it’s in the oven, bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes in the conventional oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If using the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven, bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the carrot cake from the oven and set the cake pan on a baking rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and onto a baker’s cooling rack.
  • Allow the carrot cake to cool to room temperature for at least 2 hours before optional frosting.
  • This Southern Black folks’ homemade carrot cake recipe is usually served with homemade cream cheese frosting garnished with finely chopped walnuts. (Frosting instructions below.)

Instructions for the homemade carrot cake cream cheese frosting

  • Add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes or until stiff.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Once the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer up to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
  • Spread the cream cheese frosting onto the cooled carrot cake.
  • Optionally, garnish with chopped walnuts, crushed walnuts, or carrot cake crumbs.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Pro tips:
  • This recipe has my great-grandma's secret carrot cake ingredient, the addition of beaten stiff egg whites to moisten the cake batter.
  • Refrigerating a cake with cream cheese frosting for a few hours will give it a firm texture, making slicing easy upon serving.
  • Freeze carrot cake by the slice and wrap individual pieces in parchment paper or plastic wrap. And then in foil before freezing for manageable portions that you can thaw and enjoy quickly!

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 2116IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Black Folks Southern Soul Food Carrot Cake Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
445
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
68
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
266
mg
12
%
Potassium
 
186
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
66
g
22
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
51
g
57
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
2116
IU
42
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
68
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Follow:

2 Comments

  1. Cyrene
    May 27, 2022 / 3:06 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t remember the last time I had carrot cake. I’m looking forward on trying it again.

    • May 27, 2022 / 3:09 pm

      5 stars
      This soul food carrot cake recipe will become your new favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating





 

[email protected]
The Soul Food Pot | Good Cheer LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Soul Food Pot & Shaunda Necole may earn compensation from advertising, affiliate marketing links, brand collaborations and sponsored posts at no cost to you. Although this site may participate in affiliate marketing and brand collaborations, all opinions are the site's own. LTK affiliate privacy policy HERE

This site uses cookies to deliver its services & analyze traffic. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more here: privacy policy