Carrot Cake Recipe

 

close up shot of a slice of cake on a plate
Spiced homemade carrot cake is an easy recipe that produces a moist cake with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. You’ll want to enjoy this dessert all year long.
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Table of Contents
  1. Carrot Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Carrot Cake Recipe
  4. How to Serve
  5. Storage
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Recipes You’ll Love
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

Homemade carrot cake is an easy recipe that produces a moist cake with a velvety cream cheese frosting. Made with fresh carrots and sweet spices, you’re bound to fall in love with this decadent cake that only takes 15 minutes of prep time. Don’t let carrot cake be just for Easter, you’ll want to enjoy this dessert all year long. 

If you can’t get enough of the yummy flavor combination of warm spices and sweet cream cheese frosting, try making carrot cake cookies, carrot cake cupcakes, or a carrot cake roll.

close up shot of a slice of cake on a plate

Carrot Cake Ingredients

Carrot Cake Recipe raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 – 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional garnish)

Substitutions and Additions

SPICES: You can add nutmeg and ground allspice to the cake batter for a different twist.

NUTS: You can substitute chopped walnuts for the chopped pecans in this delightful recipe.

RAISINS: Add half a cup of raisins to the batter for a sweet surprise in your cake.

How to Make This Carrot Cake Recipe

Carrot Cake

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350*. Generously spray two 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray (Baker’s Joy or Generic version) Set it aside.

STEP TWO: Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.

dry ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Add in the vegetable oil and eggs. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, blend the ingredients just until well combined.

vegetable oil and eggs blended into the dry ingredients

STEP FOUR: Fold in the shredded carrot and chopped pecans.

shredded carrots and chopped pecans folded into the bowl of ingredients

STEP FIVE: Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

cake batter divided into 2 pans and then baked

STEP SIX: Allow the cakes to cool in the pans, on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Gently flip the cakes upside down on the cooling rack to remove the pans and continue to completely cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

STEP SEVEN: Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-size mixing bowl with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

cream cheese and butter blended together in a bowl

STEP EIGHT: Lower the mixer speed to medium, and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until the frosting is completely smooth.

powdered sugar and vanilla blended together into the frosting

STEP NINE: Once the cakes are completely cooled, place the bottom cake layer onto a serving plate. 

bottom cake placed onto a serving plate

STEP TEN: Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of the bottom cake layer.

bottom cake frosted with frosting

STEP ELEVEN: Carefully place the top layer of cake on top of the bottom frosted layer.

top cake placed on top of the bottom frosted cake

STEP TWELVE: Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting on the top of the cake layer. Frost the sides of the cake as well.

cake frosted and sprinkled with pecans

STEP THIRTEEN: Sprinkle the optional chopped pecans over the very center of the cake. Evenly slice 12 slices when you are ready to serve.

How to Serve

Carrot cake is always a favorite for Easter or spring parties, but this is such an enjoyable dessert it should be enjoyed all year long. Drizzle your cake with caramel sauce or serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delectable lip-smacking treat. 

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE:  Store any leftovers of this easy carrot cake recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the unfrosted cake layers wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to completely thaw before frosting and serving.

overhead shot of a cake with a slice being taken out of it

Tender, spiced carrot cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting is a superb dessert that takes less than an hour to make from scratch. Bring this delightful cake to your next potluck or get together for a surprising treat. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze this cake? 

This delicious recipe can be frozen unfrosted for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

What can I use instead of cream cheese frosting? 

While cream cheese frosting is the traditional choice for carrot cakes, you can use buttercream frosting instead.

How do I store this cake? 

Since the cake contains dairy products in the cream cheese icing, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.

More Recipes You’ll Love

close up shot of a slice of cake on a plate

Carrot Cake Recipe

Spiced homemade carrot cake is an easy recipe that produces a moist cake with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. You’ll want to enjoy this dessert all year long.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots, 5 to 6 medium carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup 1 stick salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, optional garnish

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray (Baker’s Joy or generic version). Set them aside.
  • Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add in the vegetable oil and eggs. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, blend the ingredients just until well combined.
  • Fold in the shredded carrot and chopped pecans.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans, on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Gently flip the cakes upside down on the cooling rack to remove the pans and continue to completely cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to medium, and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until the frosting is completely smooth.
  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, place the bottom cake layer onto a serving plate.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of the bottom cake layer.
  • Carefully place the top layer of cake on top of the bottom frosted layer.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting on the top of the cake layer. Frost the sides of the cake as well.
  • Sprinkle the optional chopped pecans over the very center of the cake. Evenly slice 12 slices when you are ready to serve.

Notes

  • You can add nutmeg and ground allspice to the cake batter for a different twist.
  • You can substitute chopped walnuts for the chopped pecans.
  • Instead of layered cake, you can use the cake batter to make carrot cake cupcakes.

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