My senior year of high school, my mom’s cousin visited us during the spring as part of her RV road trip up and down the west coast. When we realized that she and her significant other would arrive the week before Easter, we invited them to spend a few extra days in town and join us for the holiday.
They graciously accepted, so we quickly started planning a special Easter dinner menu. Mom ordered a honey baked ham (her favorite!), and we settled on a few simple sides, like a spinach salad, asparagus, and homemade bread rolls.
On a whim, I pulled out the cookbook my parents had given me for Christmas, and I skimmed through the dessert chapter until I found a recipe that sounded festive and fun: a carrot sheet cake. Baked in a 9×13” pan, topped with cream cheese frosting, and easily enough to serve 16 – if not 20!
I pored over the extensive recipe notes before making the batter and baking the cake the day before Easter. On Sunday, I whipped up the frosting and spread it across the top of the cake, then stood back to survey my work and mentally proclaimed it done just a few minutes before our two guests arrived.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the feast that afternoon, although possibly a little too much… Almost all of the adults forgot to save room for any dessert!
As for me? I sat down at the dinner table with a plan and priorities in mind, served myself the smallest portions of the savory dishes… Then reached for the biggest slice of cake. Nobody else even seemed to notice!
When I took my first bite of this healthy carrot sheet cake, those fond memories came flooding back. Yet this recipe tastes even better than the one I made that year – and it’s healthier too!
This carrot cake is perfect for Easter (as I’m sure you’ve already guessed!), but it’s also lovely for birthdays, special celebrations, or any day you’re craving something cozy, comforting, and sweet. Although made in a large 9×13” rectangular cake pan, the leftovers rarely last long!