Go Back
Pecan Bourbon Carrot Cake | Taste and Tipple

Pecan Bourbon Carrot Cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Pecan Bourbon Carrot Cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12


  • 4 cups grated carrot
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • cup bourbon rum or orange juice
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or almonds
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • 2 pkgs 250 g each regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cups sifted icing sugar


  • Whole pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or oil three 9-inch (1.5-L) round cake pans.

  2. Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 4 cups and set aside. Plump up raisins by placing in a small microwave bowl and adding bourbon. Microwave on high 1½ minutes, stirring partway through. Bourbon should just start to boil. Set aside and stir occasionally. Chop nuts and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, stirring partway through. Place flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Stir to blend, then make a well in the centre.

  3. Combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape into well in flour mixture and stir with a spoon or spatula just until even in colour. Stir in carrots, followed by raisins and bourbon that hasn’t been absorbed. Sprinkle with nuts and just mix in. It will be very thick.

  4. Divide batter between pans, adding about 2¼ cups to each. Spread evenly to pan sides. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centres seem set when lightly tapped, from 30 to 35 minutes. Remove to a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.

  5. Cut cream cheese into chunks. Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very creamy. Add bourbon and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in cream cheese, piece by piece. Beating too much will cause thinning. Add about a third of the icing sugar and beat on low until just mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters occasionally. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating just until smooth. If too thin, work in a little more sugar. Can be refrigerated for about an hour before using.

  6. To assemble, place a cake, top-side down, on a platter. Lay the other 2, top-side up, on waxed paper. Brush with bourbon if you like. Spoon an equal amount of frosting on each. Spread over cakes, leaving a narrow border of cake around edge of cake on platter and on 1 other cake. Spread frosting right to the edge of the third cake. Stack cakes, placing the fully covered layer on top. Garnish with whole pecan halves. It’s best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from: Rosenberg, Monda. "Pecan Bourbon Carrot Cake." Food & Drink. Spring 2011.