This is a lavishly layered carrot cake, just like Outback Steakhouse’s carrot cake recipe. The frosting and glaze over the cake give it a sweet finish to top off this fancy dessert. This recipe uses walnuts but if you want to stick closer to the original, you can replace them with pecans instead.

How To Make Copycat Outback Steakhouse Classy Carrot Cake

0 from 0 votes
45 mins
40 mins
1 hr 25 mins


For Cake:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 ⅓ cup sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups walnuts finely diced, plus 3 tbsp for topping

For Buttermilk Glaze:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For Frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 ½ tsp orange zest grated
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans evenly. 
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (except the sugar) for the cake together, then sift 4 times. Set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until blended. Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla blend until creamy. 
  • Fold in the carrots, coconut, chocolate and 1 cup of walnuts. Mix well. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients into the batter with a silicone spatula. 
  • Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans. Let bake on the center rack of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes pull away from the sides of the pan.

For the Glaze

  • Combine all the ingredients together (except the vanilla) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Let simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fully warm throughout and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  • Cover to keep warm and set aside. Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool on trivets. Poke 20 holes on the top of each cake layer about surface deep.
  • Drizzle the glaze evenly over each cake layer. Let the cakes cool completely and then cover them with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours or until completely chilled.

For the Frosting:

  • In a bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until fluffy with an electric mixer using the paddle or whisk attachment. 
  • Slowly add the sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix well until frosting is smooth. 
  • If the frosting is soft, place it in the refrigerator to stiffen it up to prepare it for the cake.

Assembling the cake

  • Remove the cakes from the refrigerator and flip them on a cake plate. 
  • Put 1 layer, glaze side down on the plate. Put about a cup of frosting in the center of the cake layer and spread it evenly over the cake. 
  • Put the other layer on top of the cake, glaze side down, and apply the frosting the same way as the first layer. Cover the sides of the cake with the rest of the frosting. 
  • Lightly sprinkle the top of the cake with about 3 tbsp of chopped walnuts. Press the reserved walnuts onto the sides of the cake.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 1823kcal | Carbohydrates: 192g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 115g | Saturated Fat: 51g | Cholesterol: 252mg | Sodium: 773mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 158g | Vitamin A: 7268IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 3mg