Bill Yosses’ Carrot Cake

Bill Yosses’ Carrot Cake

I’m thrilled today to offer a recipe from my friend Bill Yosses, who recently left the White House, where he worked for eight scrumptious years as the Executive Pastry Chef.  When the White House needed a new pastry chef in 2006, it was my job to locate and interview candidates, along with White House Head Usher, Gary Walters.  I liked Bill from the start.  He was calm, pleasant, and discreet.  (It was not uncommon for chef candidates – and people who claimed to be chef candidates – to tell the press that they were in the running for the job, so his discretion was a breath of fresh air.)  And then he baked for the President and Mrs. Bush, and some of us lucky staffers, and it was heavenly! Bill is extremely skilled in the chemistry of baking, and has devoted a great deal of time to finding healthier ways to make desserts, in line with Mrs. Obama’s healthy food initiative.  This recipe for carrot cake is unlike any carrot cake recipe I’ve seen – take a look at the ingredients and you’ll see what I mean.   There is such texture and moistness to this cake, and it baked like a dream.  It is totally delicious – see for yourself!  And thank you Bill! IMG_0459

Prep time: 1/ ½ hours

Serves: 8


  • 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 16 oz. sugar (dark brown optional)
  • 12 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups grated carrots or apples
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly roasted
  • 2 oz. crushed pineapple
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



  1. You will need 2 eight-inch cake pans with parchment paper cut into the bottom.
  2. Mix oil and sugar
  3. Sift dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves.
  4. Begin with half of dry ingredients and this to the oil and sugar mixture.
  5. The add grated carrots and pecans.
  6. Add remaining half of dry ingredients.
  7. Add eggs and vanilla
  8. Finish mixing by hand
  9. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350F; cool before unmolding
  10. Use a cream cheese butter cream frosting between the layers and an Italian buttercream for the outside of the cake.



  • 8  oz.  cream cheese (WARM IN MICROWAVE)
  • 1  cup confectioner’s sugar–sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz butter, softened at room temperature


  1. Place warmed cream cheese in mixer and run until very soft with no lumps, scraping down the sides often.
  2. Add sifted confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract, and continue to mix.
  3. Add butter and continue to mix and scrape down sides of bowl until the frosting is smooth.

Italian Buttercream Frosting:


  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1/1/2 lbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Separate egg whites from yolks.  Whip egg whites until stiff.
  2. Bring sugar and water to a boil.  Occasionally use a pastry brush and cold water to brush down crystals that form on the side of the pan.  Boil for 7 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Pour sugar mixture slowly into egg whites and beat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cut butter into small pieces and add.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Beat until fluffy.IMG_0475

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  1. Jean Delgado

    This recipe looks like a winner BUT, it’s missing directions to add oil & sugar mixture to eggs & vanilla.

    • I’m sorry – I should have been more clear about that. After sifting the dry ingredients, add half of them to the oil and sugar mixture. Then add grated carrots and pecans. From there, add the rest of the dry ingredients, and finally the eggs and vanilla.

      Hope that helps!

      All the best, Lea

  2. Beautiful presentation! I have several carrot cake recipes, but none are like this one, so I want to try this recipe soon, maybe when the weather is cooler here in Georgia.

  3. Theresa Smiley

    Hi Lea
    The carrot cake looks delicious & I love the new design of the website-beautiful!

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