By Christopher Millard

Carrot cake: that crisp crunch of a bit of carrot nestled among moist, chewy cake, along with that sweet cream cheese based frosting is something we all know well. Mom says “Eat your vegetables!,” and you quickly turned away. But that “cake” part . . . well, okay. We all could handle that. Sacramento willfully exploits that first memory of carrot cake, and spins it on it’s head, the way Sacramento does. The traditional take on this timeless classic is at the mercy of Sactown’s culinary experts: It’s a cake. No, it’s a cookie. It has pineapple and exotic spices in it. Maybe a bit of marzipan. You think you know carrot cake, but you don’t know it like this. Read on for the 5 best carrot cakes in Sacramento.

Magpie Cafe
1601 16th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 452-7594

One of my personal favorites. Magpie goes out of their way to keep their desserts on par with their main dishes. And if you know Magpie at all, you know they are all about culinary excellence. The carrot cake is no exception. Their carrot cake consists of two carrot cake cookies, separated by scrumptious frosting. You might call it an inside out carrot cake, and that’s just how Magpie rolls–you’ll never look at cake the same way again. Magpie has settled into their new location on 16th Street, and it’s just given them room for improvement.

OneSpeed Pizza
4818 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 706-1748

The local hipster restaurant, OneSpeed goes above and beyond. An Italian themed menu also has a dessert menu to die for. This Folsom eatery is wedged between a shopping mall and a hardware store, so keep your eyes peeled and bike . . . don’t walk in for a delectable, specialty pizza, a slice of delicious carrot cake and some great coffee. And don’t worry — the hipsters in Sacto are exceedingly nice, and you need not be one of them.

Freeport Bakery
2966 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 442-4256

A specialty bakery that takes tradition to the nth degree. If you are looking for good baseline carrot cake, this is it. Freeport Bakery mixes in real chunks of apple and carrot into their carrot cake. The cream cheese frosting is swirled in a majestic display of culinary and aesthetic decadence. Order the cake in 7” or 9” round and quarter or half sheet flats. Larger sizes are available still, but may require a special order. Special indeed.

Related: Best Fruitcake In Sacramento

5340 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95819

Selland’s is a historic eatery, that’s just one in a series of excellent Sacto restaurants owned by the Selland family. Their reputation precedes them, and this carrot cake is no exception. Toasted walnuts accompany our favorite orange vegetable, with a standard cream cheese frosting completing the display.  Dine in, take out or let Selland’s cater your larger event.

2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 482-0708

If you’re one of those “everything is better in Europe” or if you just want a little spice in your life (or your cake), you must try this carrot cake. Spiced pineapple (Yes, you read that right.) and carrots are layered beneath waves of cream cheese frosting. Marzipan carrots dance on top, while toasted almonds grace the sides, and decorate the center. Who knew carrot cake could be so complexly complicated. Oui, oui. Carrot cake, je t’aime.

Related: Best Macaroons In Sacramento


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