Harvest Carrot Cake with Skillet Fruit

This irresistible cake recipe combines carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, and walnuts for a dessert that's perfect for Thanksgiving or any other occasion.

Harvest Carrot Cake with Skillet Fruit
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
45 mins
Bake Time:
30 mins
Cool Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato*

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ cup cooking oil

  • ½ cup finely shredded carrot

  • cup buttermilk

  • ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

  • 1 recipe Buttercream Frosting, below

  • 1 recipe Skillet Fruit, below

Buttercream Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoon milk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Skillet Fruit

  • 3 tablespoon butter

  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 red-skin pears, cored and slliced

  • 6 kumquats, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup fresh cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8x8x2-inch square or 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pan; line the bottom of pan with waxed paper. Grease paper. Lightly coat pan with flour; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. In large mixing bowl combine sugars, pumpkin, eggs and oil. Stir in carrot and buttermilk. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in walnuts. Transfer to pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.

  3. Place cake on serving platter and top with Buttercream Frosting. Just before serving spoon on warm Skillet Fruit. Makes 8 servings.

Buttercream Frosting

  1. In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in 1/4 to 1/2 cup additional powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

Skillet Fruit

  1. In large skillet melt butter; stir in granulated sugar. Add red-skin pears, kumquats, and fresh cranberries. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until pears are just tender (2 to 4 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potato:

Peel and cube 8 ounces orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Cook, covered, in lightly salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly and mash.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

409 Calories
20g Fat
55g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 409
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 10.6mg 53%
Calcium 70.7mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 263mg 6%
Folate, total 56.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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