This recipe is a departure from the standard fare in that it doesn’t involve distinctly New Mexico ingredients or flavors. The only tie-in I could come up with was Grant’s legacy as a major producer of carrots, prior to becoming a major producer of uranium. The town exists due to the railroad. It was initially a work camp, named after the Grant brothers. The camp was set up at that location due to proximity to the Atlantic and Pacific route and a supply of logs in the Zuni Mountains to build the tracks.

When logging declined in the 1930s, Grants became the “carrot capital” of the United States, drawing water from Bluewater Reservoir. The region’s volcanic soils provided ideal conditions for farming. The New Mexico carrot connection is a fairly weak premise to spin off on lengthy narrative, though based on feedback, few people want narrative. They want the cake recipe, right? This is a great one. Spicy.

Craving Carrot Cake?

Though this is one of my personal favorites, I was surprised to discover that a lot of folks have an affinity for carrot cake. If you are one of them, you are going to love this recipe. Please leave your revisions and tweaks in the comments. I like to try other people’s suggestions.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8-ounces crushed pineapple, drain as much liquid as possible (about one cup)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour your pan(s).
  • In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, white & brown sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually (thirds).
  • Fold in shredded carrots, drained pineapple, and chopped pecans.
  • Pour into prepared baking pans. Bake in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 40-50 minutes for a 9 x 13 pan, about 30-35 minutes for 8-9 inch rounds, about 15-20 minutes for cupcakes.
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

carrot cake side viewCream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Change the amount of sugar to taste. Personally, I don’t want cream cheese frosting to be indiscernible from butter cream frosting so I go light on the confectioner’s sugar.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Approximately 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon or so)


  • In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Frost the cake after it cools.
  • Top generously with chopped pecans.

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