Thelma’s Famous Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Larry’s Little Layer Versions

Little-layered-carrot-cakes.jpgThelma’s Carrot Cake is truly phenomenal. Full fat, full sugar, full egg type of recipe from the 60s. Thelma is Larry’s mom, age 91, loves sweets and is still going strong. This is some miracle carrot cake!  It’s Larry’s fav but, sadly for him, a healthy diet means he doesn’t get it often. Uh, did I mention FULL fat, sugar, egg?? It’s a treat.

WELL WHADDAYA KNOW?  A dinner party for eight here – in our book, that sets the table for a treat. Larry channeled the Cake Boss and created mini layered carrot cakes for everyone. We took Thelma’s recipe (usually a 9 x 13) and made it as a thinner, larger sheet. Used biscuit cutters to cut the layers.

LEFTOVERS WARNING: this produces a pile of scraps AND enough cake batter for an extra half-dozen cupcakes. Even though we have no kids in OUR home, we’ll be hosting a 20-Something Dinner in a week or so (family members living nearby, “the kids” as we call them). Those scraps in the freezer will become a layered sundae then.

For today, you need a half-sheet pan (a cookie sheet with sides) like this one.  And parchment paper.  We also used a silicon baking sheet, you will see when he cut the layers… the cake and frosting recipes are at the bottom of these how-to pix.  Ready?  Go!

Easy to flip

Make layers

parchment under cakes


Keep the scraps

Thelma’s Carrot Cake

Makes 8 mini cakes plus 6 muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 8-1/2 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus 8 nice-looking walnut halves for decoration
  • 1 1/2 cups Angel flake coconut, plus 1/4 cup for decoration
  • Cream cheese frosting, recipe below

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare a half-sheet pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and spraying the sides with non-stick spray.  Also, prepare six muffin cups with paper linings.

Into a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add sugar, eggs and oil, mix well.

Add carrots, pineapple, nuts and coconut, mix well.

** To NOT overfill the sheet cake pan, first fill the six muffin cups half-full with batter.

Pour remaining batter into center of the prepared pan; use a spatula to gently spread to the ends.  Shake a little to even out the batter.

Bake at 325 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  (The muffins, in our case, baked fine at the exact same time).

Remove from oven and let cool completely.

When getting ready to build the mini cakes, prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below.

Turn out the cake onto the silicon baking sheet by covering the cake pan with the silicon sheet, hold edges tight and flip it over.  Peel parchment paper from the cake bottom.

Using a 3- to 3-1/2 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 16 small cakes.

On a separate cookie sheet, place 8 squares of parchment paper, approximately 4 inches square.  Set 8 mini cake layers onto the papers.  Frost each with frosting, top with the second layer, frost. Top each with a walnut half and sprinkle with a little extra coconut.  If you aren’t going to serve for a few hours, place the cookie sheet of cakes in the refrigerator.  Remove from the fridge about a half hour before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar.  Add cream cheese and vanilla, beat until creamy.  Makes enough to frost the layered cakes, about 1 3/4 cups.

Sprinkle the half-dozen muffins with powdered sugar.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon October 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi, thanks for the measuring help! Since I also sometimes sub oil with applesauce, I am also going to give that a shot the SECOND time I make this! Wouldn’t want to mess it up the first time cause now I’m so hungry for carrot cake!

2 Worth The Whisk October 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

Sharon, I usually figure about a cup of grate results from a large carrot.

3 Sharon October 16, 2012 at 6:25 am

Was just wondering how many cups those 4 large carrots would make? Everyone seems to have a different opinion in their take of small, med., large..! haha
Also, I would try this recipe in large muffin cups, turn them upside down so the larger part is on the bottom, slice in half, fill with frosting, top with frosting and nuts/coconut, and avoid having to deal with the scraps – cause I would end up eating them all!!! They would never last to do a sundae! Love carrot cake! Yum!!!

4 Worth The Whisk October 13, 2012 at 6:21 am

Jeanne, that really means a LOT, so glad you read this post. Thelma is doing great, age 91 and enjoying her family and friends.

5 Jeanne spinner Lamar October 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

A special memory from childhood!! She always was the best cook on the block! Can’t wait to make these for my family and 89 yr old dad Paul! Thanks to you and Thelma for great 3 generation treats… And memories!

6 June M October 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I love the idea of miniature cakes and carrot cake (the full fat version) is the best!!

I’ve made various cakes in a 4 inch pans, but never this small, what a great idea!


7 Bou Shin @ Shin's Vegan Lovin' July 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I love your photos – and using the leftovers for a sundae sounds really great. I might use the stacking and decorating idea for my mother’s birthday cake, since it is coming up so soon. ^^

8 Cliff Scott July 25, 2012 at 7:17 am

I joined Andrea as one of the luck few and even after indulging on a dinner feast, I still finished every last crumb on my plate of these amazing Carrot Cakes. You won’t be disappointed…and in the words of George Zimmer of The Men’s Wearhouse, “I guarantee it.”

9 Andrea Giambrone July 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

As one of the lucky few on the planet who actually got to eat (well, devour) Larry’s Carrot Cake, I assure you it is indulgent and sensational. Anytime you feel like a little something fabulous.

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