Cake Decorating

Carrots turning green in carrot cakes!

I have only baked less than a dozen carrot cakes over the past 2 years. The last 3 that I made (over the course of a few months), the carrots turned green after baking. I’ve googled this and learned that it’s a chemical reaction, but haven’t read anything about how to prevent it. I’ve had to rebake every carrot cake I’ve made lately and after wasting so much time and money (& to deal w/ the stress) I’ve just taken it off my menu!

I’ve tried different types of carrots and using a fresh box of baking soda each time, but it keeps happening!!

Has this happened to anyone else or/and do you know of a way to fix it????

Carrot cake is a popular flavor and I would love to be able to confident-ally offer it again, without fear of people thinking my cakes are full of mold!! :(

Thank you!

Maria of Love & Sugar Kisses,

13 Replies

Hmmm… That’s interesting. I’ve never had that issue before. Do you grate the carrots yourself or do you buy them prepackaged? I’m thinking maybe if you let them stand for too long before you actually incorporate in the batter, this could happen. I don’t know if I was much help here, but hopefully you get the problem resolved because I agree with you when you say this is a great item to offer.

It's a sophisticated World!

I grate the carrots myself. I’ve tried whole carrots, baby carrots, organic and non organic….doesn’t seem to matter and it’s driving me craaaaazy!!! :(

Maria of Love & Sugar Kisses,

I’ve never had this happen. Are you using a baking powder or baking soda recipe? If its an acidic reaction maybe adjusting to a less acidic recipe? I would do your own science experiment to find the culprit. Put the carrots in a bunch of dishes and 1 ingredient in each dish and let it sit so you can find out what is causing the reaction. If you find out the cause I’d be curious to know the results.


I have never ever had my carrots turn green, and I make carrot cake quite a bit as it is one of my family’s favorites. I have my carrot cake recipe posted under recipes. It makes a wonderful moist cake or cupcake.

Toni, Pennsylvania,

I have never had my carrots turn green in a cake but I have noticed one or two green pieces in bags of shredded carrots from time to time. (they were still good and i tasted them and they were fine thought I still pick them out if baking a cake or something like that). Maybe you should try a new recipe or two and see if it helps solve the problem? I recently made peggy does cake’s recipe (from the front page) and it was AMAZING!

Nikki, So Cal,

I’ve been comparing my recipe and Peggy’s recipe & Toni (Whitecrafty)‘s also. I noticed that mine has only baking soda but their recipes both have baking soda AND baking powder. I’m going to try theirs and see how that works out. I’m thinking that the baking soda only coupled with the aluminum pans are causing it. At least I’m hoping that’s what it is. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Thank you all for your advice :)


Maria of Love & Sugar Kisses,

When I first started baking I used to do a carrot cake which also included grated apple. Every so often the carrots in the cake would turn green just as you described so I changed my recipe to the Hummingbird Bakery recipe, which just uses carrots and walnuts and have perfect results every time (and I use this recipe A LOT!) so I came to the conclusion it must have had something to do with the acid.

I also completely agree with the comment about peeling your carrots before grating them. I had a suspicion that only washing them wasn’t sufficient and that may have contributed to the problem too. I always peel my carrots before grating them now.

A few of my cakes have had the green specks….this is what i found

Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking, explains that carrots turn green when the batter “contains too much baking soda, or when the soda isn’t evenly mixed in the batter.”

Carrots contain pigments that are sensitive to changes in pH balance. When the shreds of carrot come into contact with the alkaline baking soda, a chemical reaction takes place that causes the pigments to change color.

Ipso facto, green carrots!

If your carrots turn inexplicably green with a recipe you’ve used many times before, the likely culprit is that the baking soda didn’t get fully dispersed throughout the batter.

If your carrots are turning green every time you make the recipe, the ratio of baking soda in the recipe is probably off. Try reducing the amount by a quarter teaspoon next time you make the recipe.

Unappetizing though they may be, cakes and loaves with green carrots are perfectly safe to eat and taste no different than normal cakes!