Sourdough Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

star rating (40) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Sourdough Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

star rating (40) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This recipe comes from King Arthur Flour spokesman Michael Jubinsky, who claims it's "worth its weight in gold!" It's printed, along with some other wonderful sourdough cake recipes, in our "King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook."

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup sourdough starter, right from the fridge, unfed
3 eggs
1 cup (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting

Combine oil and sugar, and stir in sourdough starter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in pineapple, carrots, walnuts, coconut and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring just to combine.

Spoon batter into greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes, or until cake tests done. Remove cake from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

    1/4 to 1/2 cup (1/2 to 1 stick) butter, at room temperature
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 1/2 cups (1 pound) confectioners' sugar
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1/2 cup minced candied ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating well. Stir in nuts and/or ginger (if desired). Add milk, a little at a time, until frosting is a spreadable consistency.

Tip: Need some sourdough starter to get started? See our step-by-step directions for creating your own sourdough starter from scratch. Or, if you’re looking for a head-start, check out our classic fresh sourdough starter, a simpler path to fresh, ready-to-use sourdough starter.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 9, September 1991 issue.


1 234  All  
  • star rating 04/09/2015
  • Patti from TN
  • This has been my family's carrot cake recipe for the last several years. Everyone loves it -- and everywhere we bring it, it gets rave reviews. Several friends who thought they had a fabulous recipe have switched to this. Absolutely moist and delicious.
  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • Diana from SG
  • Can't wait to try this out with all the excellent reviews! May I ask how should the sourdough starter consistency like? Sorry if this seem like a silly question but my starter is the firm type which won't flow, unlike what you have. I should be able to just add water to thin it down, I hope.
  • star rating 02/05/2015
  • gervaise from KAF Community
  • I made this delicious Sourdough Carrot Cake recipe into cupcakes last evening. These cupcakes are simply divine. My intention is to freeze most of them. I have not made frosting, yet. Many thanks to the fine people at the Baker's Hotline.
  • 09/03/2014
  • erin from wisconsin
  • Where is the recipe? Only the picture and 5 star rating show up in my browser. I'd like to try this 5 star sourdough cake recipe!

    Hi Erin- Our Web Team is currently working on updating some of our recipe pages so I think you were checking this one out as they were working on it, but it seems to be up and running now. Enjoy! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 07/07/2014
  • codyabland from KAF Community
  • Both of my daughter's (18, 20) stated that this was the best cake they have ever eaten. The only adjustment I made was using organic coconut oil (nod to Monica from Washington DC). The crumb is excellent; the moisture is spot on and the flavor can't be beat. Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe. Take care.
  • star rating 06/02/2014
  • nmenzel from KAF Community
  • If you make this recipe with the mini loaf pans, fill each only half full to allow room for frosting. It will make 12 small loaves. Use only a half stick of butter.
  • star rating 05/16/2014
  • CHRISR from KAF Community
  • Subbed a bit of butter & apple butter for oil, otherwise made the cake exact, made frosting, no ginger as I don't care for it, & I didn't need any milk to thin it either. Fantastic! This beast weighs a ton there's so much to it.
  • star rating 05/09/2014
  • Monica from Washington DC
  • I replaced oil with organic coconut oil and then baked in 9 inch cake pans. My candied ginger from Penzye's spice shop really elevated the whole flavor in icing. I love this cake. Did anyone replace with coconut oil?
  • star rating 05/04/2014
  • longhornmama from KAF Community
  • Very good and a nice way to use sourdough starter. Before baking this cake, my family said they didn't like carrot cake. Somehow, though, the entire cake disappeared. Not a light and fluffy cake, this is a moist but dense cake just the way carrot cake should be. Made sure to use grated, not shredded, carrots, since one of my pet peeves is seeing big shreds of carrot in a cake. Made as directed in a 13x9 pan. A heavyweight cake so I served in smaller than usual pieces. Only changes I made were in the icing, omitting the nuts and sprinkling crystallized ginger on top. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
  • star rating 03/12/2014
  • Annie from Naperville, IL
  • Everyone LOVED this recipe! So very moist and delicious, and a great way to use up my sourdough discard. It's a keeper!
1 234  All