Cakes/ Recipes

J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake

J. Alexander's Copy Cat Carrot Cake

J. Alexander’s Copy Cat Carrot Cake is just as decadent as the real thing. Easy to make, moist, mouth-watering, and perfectly sweet, this carrot cake will satisfy any craving you may have.

Knowing a good thing when you taste it

J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake…what can I say? If you’ve ever had it, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t, you are missing out! J. Alexander’s is a contemporary dining chain, serving American food. Some of my favorite dishes are the Mexico City Spinach Con Queso as an appetizer and the Prime Rib, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or the now-retired Rattlesnake Pasta as an entre.

One of their show-stoppers, though, is the Carrot Cake. To put it simply, it is a massive piece of moist, mouth-watering cake that is served warm with cream cheese icing dripping down the sides. To dine at J. Alexander’s without at least getting a slice of carrot cake to go would be a sin.

When my husband and I relocated to Charlotte in early 2020, we were excited about the warmer climate and of the adventures that awaited. The one disappointment, however, was that the closest J. Alexander’s is 120 miles away.


J. Alexander's Copy Cat Carrot Cake

Finding an acceptable J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake copy cat recipe

So what’s a girl to do when she is craving her favorite J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake without any locations around to grab a piece from. Surely driving 2 hours to get some is crazy, right? Right?!?! (I’d be lying if I said I haven’t considered it!)

The next (logical) solution was to search for copy cat recipes to fill the void until we make it for the real deal. I found just that when I stumbled upon a recipe on My Baking Addiction. If J. ALexander’s Carrot Cake is a 10, this recipe is a solid 9.5. It’s super close to the real thing and took care of the longing for my favorite dessert.

Now, this recipe makes A LOT. I made the 9×13 pan for my husband and myself, and honestly, we should have shared. We couldn’t go through the entire thing without having to throw a couple of pieces out…a tragedy, really.

What helps to make J. Alexander’s Carrot Cake so moist is the pineapple, buttermilk, and syrup mixture. The end result is a decadent treat that will satisfy any carrot cake craving. It sure did for us until we can make it in for the real thing.

If you’re ever in the area of J. Alexander’s, do yourself and get yourself a piece. You won’t regret it!

If you enjoy cream cheese as part of your desserts, check out my recipe for Pumpkin Banana Cream Cheese Swirl Bread.

J. Alexander's Carrot Cake


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

KITCHENAID STAND MIXER– My best friend in the kitchen, no joke! I cannot recommend this wonderful piece of kitchen equipment enough. I know it is an investment, but I can tell you it is one you will never regret making.
9 x 13 BAKING PAN– OXO always produces quality products, and this pan is no different. If you are in the market for a new 9×13 pan, consider this one.
KITCHENAID PADDLE ATTACHMENT – I LOVE this attachment. It is perfect for beating icings and really whips them up into a light, fluffy mixture. This particular one has a silicone scraper attached to it, so it scrapes your bowl for you as it beats. It’s awesome and saves you time from having to stop your mixing to scrape down the sides of your bowl.

J. Alexander's Carrot Cake

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
Serves: 12-15
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes

J. Alexander's Copy Cat Carrot Cake is just as decadent as the real thing. Easy to make, moist, mouth-watering, and perfectly sweet, this carrot cake will satisfy any craving you may have.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil, plus more for pan
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups julienne carrots
  • 3 ounces shredded coconut, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar




Generously grease a 9x13-inch cake pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 325° F. Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.


Mix remaining cake ingredients in a separate medium bowl. Combine the wet ingredients with the flour mixture, mixing well.


Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


While the cake is still hot, poke holes all over the top with a large fork. Pour the syrup mixture over the top, allowing the syrup to soak into the holes. Refrigerate cake until completely cool.


Frost with Cream cheese frosting.


Heat a slice in microwave for 10-15 seconds to enjoy warm.



Using a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.



Mix the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed with a paddle attachment until smooth.


Recipe found on My Baking Addiction (Per My Baking Addiction, the original author is Sun-Sentinal)

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    ayleen french
    July 3, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    If you made this I would try this!

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