My Rule-Breaking Carrot Cake Trick That I Do Every Single Easter (It Saves So Much Time!)

published Mar 26, 2024
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head on shot of a single slice carrot cake.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Brett Regot

As I’ve stated before (in my recipe for Boston cream pie and probably elsewhere too), I’m not much of a cake person. It’s pretty much chocolate cake or nothing for me. My husband, on the other hand, loves cake. Every year, without fail, he requests carrot cake for his birthday. And while I shouldn’t be surprised, I mentally groan each and every time. It’s not because I don’t enjoy eating said carrot cake — it’s because I have to peel (and grate) all those carrots. 

I’m happy to report that this is no longer the case. I recently cross-tested our brand-spanking-new recipe for carrot cake and there was so much I loved about it. With its lightly spiced flavor profile and ultra-tender texture (thanks to the crushed pineapple), it was honestly the best cake carrot I’ve ever had. Plus, you don’t even need to frost the sides, which makes assembly a cinch. 

The Step I Always Skip

But what I really loved about this extremely delicious cake? Not peeling those dang carrots! As someone who went to culinary school, was a professional baker for nearly a decade, and is a prolific home cook, it seemed nuts to me to skip the peeling step. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I questioned why I even peel carrots in the first place. It makes a lot of sense. The skin is so thin that most of the time you barely notice it’s even there (unlike an apple with its more fibrous skin). All the carrots truly need is a good scrub under cool water to remove any dirt, followed by a quick trim of the ends. 

The thin carrot skin isn’t noticeable in the final cake whatsoever. Skipping the peeling makes the recipe much easier, while also cutting down on prep time and ultimately reducing food waste. I happily put away a couple of slices myself, and so did my husband, our two kids, and our neighbor — and no one was the wiser.