How to Make Espresso Carrot Cake

a slice of carrot cake

Nothing beats the warmth of enjoying a carrot cake in winters, sitting beside the fireplace. The whole atmosphere seems too good to be true. The delicious aroma from the cake with occasional sip for that drink in hand and the crackling of woods – just perfect! If I imagine myself like this, I would always prefer to have a nice cup of coffee. You know how crazy I am about coffee.

You can bake them in a huge batch, and they are sure to stay fresh for up to a week. But I highly doubt that anyone will leave it uneaten on the counter for that long.

As always, I tried to incorporate my love for coffee into a carrot cake. Because why not? I mean, if it ends up delicious, it is a success. But first, let us know who to give credit to for introducing the world to the amazing delicacy of carrot cakes.

History of Carrot Cakes

carrot cake

‘Tis was a winter of 16th century when carrot cakes showed themselves to the world as “pudding in a Carret root” somewhere in England. Basically, that dish was a stuffed carrot that had meat in it. But historians agreed that there were many ingredients in the recipe that could pass it as a dessert. Back then, sugar and other sweeteners were expensive, so people used carrots as a substitute.

In 1814, a French royal chef published his book of recipes. The recipe for carrot cake got so popular that people copied that as it is. Ten years later, the same chef released an English translation for his book with the same recipe.

Another instance from the 19th century confirms that carrot cake was a favorite among everyone. It was baked for birthday parties and other celebrations. Carrot cake’s fame also rose after World War II when cake ingredients were short, and carrots were the only item in abundance.

Given these examples, it is hard to say which the original country for carrot cake was. I suspect that a different version of carrot cake was baked throughout the world due to its simplicity. When the word of a perfect recipe got out, everyone followed the lead, forming the ultimate recipe.

Now that we know the history of carrot cakes, it is time for me to familiarize you with a couple of amazing recipes with a hint of coffee.

Basic Espresso Carrot Cake

carrot cake


  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of powdered cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of powdered allspice
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 cup of pecan nuts (chopped)
  • 4 cups of carrots (chopped)
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • 1 shot espresso


  1. Preheat the oven at 350° F and prepare the baking pan.
  2. Grate carrots and pecan nuts in a food processor or with a knife/grater.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients and set them aside.
  4. Dissolve the espresso in hot water or make it in a coffee maker.
  5. Beat the eggs in a mixer and add oil and espresso into it.
  6. Once the mixture is well-blended, add in carrots, pecans, and raisins and fold by hand.
  7. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake it for at least an hour.
  8. Let the cake cool before serving. You can enjoy it dry or make a cream cheese frosting to be poured on top.

Spiced Carrot Cake with Espresso Frosting


  • 2 sticks of butter, cut into small pieces. A little more for the pan too.
  • 3 cups flour (gluten-free). Some for pan too.
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • 4 cups shredded carrots

For Espresso Frosting

  • 2 tbsps. espresso powder
  • 1 pound cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup candied walnut, crushed for garnish
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom


  1. Preheat the oven at 350° F. Take a square baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Dust some flour on it and set it aside.
  2. Take butter in a saucepan and heat it till it gets brown. Once you smell a nutty aroma, turn off the heat and let it get more brown as it cools down.
  3. Take a large bowl and mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside and mix the oils (vegetable oil, browned butter, olive oil) and vanilla in another bowl.
  4. Mix eggs, sugar, and brown sugar in an electric mixer until the eggs get fluffy.
  5. Pour the oil mixture into the mixture and whisk lightly for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Transfer the mixture into another bowl and start adding the dry mixture to it. Add in small batches and keep folding.
  7. Once the mixture is well-mixed, add in the carrots and fold again. The carrot cake batter is ready to be baked in the oven. Pour the mixture into the pan and let it bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. For frosting, dissolve the coffee powder in hot water. Beat up the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in icing sugar, espresso, cardamom, and mix until the whole mixture is fluffy.
  9. To serve the carrot cake with espresso frosting, you can cut the cake horizontally into half and spread a layer of frosting between the layers. Make it even more interesting by pouring some frosting on top and serving with candied walnuts or any other dry fruit of your choice.

Coffee Makes Everything Fun

Believe me when I say that coffee has the potential to make everything ten times better. It has the power to enhance flavors. While carrot cake is a king on its own, adding coffee to it will definitely feel like heaven. Also, you can play with your imagination and come up with a variety of frostings too. Dry or with frosting, these recipes are sure to get you a ton of praises.