morton's carrot cake

I am always on the lookout for a good carrot cake recipe. My favorite up to now has been the Silver Palate one (a future post!), but using the almighty Google, I found this winner. Served at Morton's Steakhouse and based on its CEO's mother's recipe, this dessert stands out because buttermilk is used two-fold. First, in the cake batter and

second, cooked with butter for a glaze, which makes the cake extra moist.

The Daughter fashioned her decorative carrots out of Starbursts. Aren't they adorable?
The flecks in the frosting are orange zest .

This cake is definitely at the top of my favorite carrot cake list now.
Delicious, extra moist, just enough carrot flavor and lots of cream cheese frosting.

Morton's Carrot Cake
by Marianne Artinian
For cake:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
cup fresh pineapple, crushed
3 cups carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 cups loosely packed shredded, sweetened coconut
2 cups finely chopped walnuts

For buttermilk glaze:
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For frosting:
1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ teaspoons fresh orange juice
1½ teaspoons grated orange zest
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For cake:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter two 9-inch round cake pans, each about 1 1/2 inches deep. Dust each cake pan with about 1 tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla and thoroughly incorporate.
Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and 1 cup of the walnuts and mix well, then add the flour and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

For buttermilk glaze:
While the cake is baking, mix together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and baking soda until well blended in a small saucepan.
Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until heated through and the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Remove the cakes from the oven and put them, still in the pans, on wire racks sitting on baking sheets. Using a toothpick, poke about 20 holes in the top crust of each cake layer.
Do not poke holes deeper than halfway through the cakes.
Whisk the glaze and pour it evenly over the cake layers. I used only half the amount of glaze- didn't want to overwhelm the cake.
Let the cakes cool completely and then cover them, still in the pans, with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours, or until completely chilled.

For frosting:
In the bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on medium speed or with a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until fluffy.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. Mix slowly so that the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute or until the frosting is smooth.

For assembly:
Remove the cake layers from the refrigerator and invert them on a work surface. You might need to run a kitchen knife around the edges to loosen the layers. Put 1 layer on a platter, glazed-side down.
Put about 1 1/2 cups (a third) of the frosting on the center of the cake layer and spread it evenly over the cake. There should be a layer of frosting about 1/2-inch thick.
If the frosting is soft, return the cake to the refrigerator to stiffen it up. Put the other layer on top of the cake, glazed-side down, and frost the top of the cake with about 1 1/2 cups (a third) of the frosting. With the remainder of the frosting, cover the sides of the cakes with a thin layer. With the tip of the spatula, press lightly into the top layer of frosting and pull it up to form little spikes. Repeat over the entire top of the cake.
Lightly sprinkle top of the cake with about 3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts. Press the remaining walnuts onto the sides of the cake. Serve at room temperature.


  1. i am making this for my birthday!!!--wish you were here to make it for my birthday!

  2. Kudos to the daughter on those cute carrots! That glaze does sound really interesting. I just made a key lime cake that had both a glaze and a frosting and it was super moist!

  3. wish i could be there too to make it for you. i'm pretty sure you'll love it.


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