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Caramel Filled Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This Caramel Filled Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is an extraordinary version of a carrot cake recipe. If I had to choose a favorite cake, it would be carrot cake, hands down. But not just any ordinary carrot cake; it must be chock full of goodies like this 3 layered version filled wich caramel!

Slice of 3 Caramel Filled Carrot Cake on a white dessert plate

Caramel Filled Carrot Cake

I love any excuse to bake up a decadent, over the top dessert. Especially one full of ingredients love, but the family doesn’t: nuts, coconut, crushed pineapple. My book club provides me with all sorts of opportunities, and this week was our annual summer pitch in dinner. It’s no surprise that I always nab a dessert slot when it’s time to sign up.

My friend, Roz, over at La Bella Vita, shared this marvelous three layer carrot cake with an added bonus: a caramel filling. She actually had a praline filling but I decided to use the extra nuts as a garnish and keep the extra layer simple, gooey and spectacular. And, of course, there’s the cream cheese frosting. Who doesn’t love that? Her Carrot Cake with Caramel Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting sounded exquisite. I just had to give it a shot.

Caramel Filled Carrot Cake on a white serving plate

Over the Top Carrot Cake Recipe

But it was my girlfriend, Kelly, who told me this was a must make recipe. You see, Kelly is friend I’ve had since 3rd grade…and we also shared many adventures in college…even a boyfriend…long story there. I knew “of” her sister,  Roz, growing up, but she was a cool high school student and my friends and I were the pesky (and squirrely) friends of the baby sister.

We actually “met”via our blogs not knowing we had a personal connection. Over weeks and months, we figured out we grew up only blocks from each other, plus actually met in person when Kelly and I road tripped to St. Louis while in college. When Kelly and I were in Michigan this spring, she raved about her sister’s Carrot Cake With Praline Filling And Cream Cheese Frosting, more than once. A challenge I couldn’t resist. Kelly loved it. I loved it. My book club ador  ed it. And just recently, I took it to the cardiac cath lab for a Christmas lunch and they loved it as well. I hope you will, too!

Caramel Filled Carrot Cake overhead view on a white plate

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Caramel Filled Carrot Cake

Caramel Filled Carrot Cake

An extraordinary carrot cake with a caramel filling. Adapted from La Bella Vita blog.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 20 servings



  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups (I used a 1 pound, 4 ounce can) drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 cups shredded or grated carrots

Caramel Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Chopped pecans to garnish sides, optional.


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.Mix well.
  4. Add the oil, eggs, butter, vanilla, pineapple, coconut, pecans, and carrots.
  5. Place equal amounts of cake batter into each of three prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.Place on baking racks to cool for 10 -15 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling.
  7. Prepare filling by melting the butter in a sauce pan. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add cream, vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Slowly add flour and cornstarch, whipping well to incorporate. Cook till mixture boils and thickens while whisking continuously. Run through a sieve to remove any lumps and place in fridge to cool completely (may chill overnight if necessary to thicken).
  8. Make frosting by beating together butter and cream cheese till light and fluffy. Add vanilla then mix in powdered sugar till desired consistency is reached.

To assemble:

  1. Top two of the layers with the caramel filling. If too runny, pop in the freezer till thickens. Spread a thick layer of the frosting over filling then stack these two layers. Top with third layer and frost the whole exterior as desired. Beware, that some caramel will ooze out. To minimize this, you may not want to use all the caramel.
  2. Garnish sides with chopped pecans if desired.


Total time does not reflect cooling and chilling times.
My layers started sliding when I stacked them. I inserted a couple wooden skewers to hold them in place. You can chill the cake thoroughly and remove them or cut them off at the cake's surface and warn your guests before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 894Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 3gSugar: 87gProtein: 8g
Caramel_Carrot_Cake (5)

Photo circa 2013


The Instagram teaser I put on Facebook…look at that all that gooey caramel!!!


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64 comments on “Caramel Filled Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Gorgeous cake, Liz! I love carrot cake and the caramel filling takes it over the top!!

  2. Wow. This looks amazing! Pinning this for later!

  3. It’s a beautiful and super delicious looking cake!!

  4. I think this is my new favorite cake. Gorgeous!

  5. I have dinner group in a few weeks–this is in the running for the dessert (along with about 20 other recipes from your blog Liz)!

  6. What a marvelous dessert. Carrot cake has always been my favorite cake, ever…and I’m in love with caramel too. What a perfect combo. Thanks a million for sharing this, and linking back, at Weekend Potluck. Please come back soon.

  7. wow, that looks totally amazing! I KNOW I will never make it, but maybe just maybe I’ll find a friend or (more likely) get my baking sister in law to make one when I am staying! I might just manage to make the frosting;)

  8. Just stopped back by to let you know that I linked it to my original post so you should see a pingback coming through at your end! Great job Liz!!!!!

  9. Liz, this cake is beautiful! And it looks super tasty. It’s NOMilicious! Pinned and sharing on FB and Twitter. Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays!

  10. Hurrah for you! This yummylicious recipe is one of our Featured Picks at Weekend Potluck today. Please be sure to stop by and link up more of your special recipes. Congrats! Enjoy a wonderful weekend.

  11. I love carrot cake, yours looks like a great version. I hate it when layers start to slide, it sends me into panic mode.

  12. I wouldn’t be able to stop at one piece of this cake. The recipe sounds fantastic! Thanks for being a part of the YBR.

  13. Delicious combination!

  14. I don’t eat coconut at all. How much difference would it make to the texture if this cake to leave the coconut out? Do you think something else would need to be altered to make it work? I would love to try it. Also, how do you get the nuts arranged so beautifully on the sides?

    • Hi, Carol, I think it would be OK without the coconut. For the nut garnish, I cupped a handful of nuts and gently pressed it into the side of the cake, then repeated. After making a pass around the cake, I pressed in individual nut pieces where there were voids. Takes a little time, but it looks better that way. Great questions. Hope you give it a try!

  15. Would the amount of cake be ok to put in a 9×13 pan? I want to decorate with your pineapple flowers.

  16. Such a beautiful and tasty carrot cake!  We love the pecans and the thick coconut shavings. The caramel takes this to a whole new tasty level.  Really fantastic. 

  17. Carrot cake and caramel are two of my very favorite things and yet I’ve never thought to combine them! This is totally genius!!!

  18. Thank you for the recipe. But please take a look at it. 100 grams of sugar per serving!? Are you trying to make your children diabetic? with quite some substitutions you can make this recipe less calorie-dense and possibly healthier.

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