Carrot Cake is sweet and decadent with layers of cream cheese icing. You can add nuts or omit based on your preference. This is the best carrot cake and so easy to make. 

Carrot Cake on a cake stand
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What Does This Carrot Cake Taste Like?

It reminds me of a spice cake that is perfectly sweet and really moist. I’m actually not a huge fan of carrots and absolutely love carrot cake. 

But this cake doesn’t actually taste like carrots. However, the carrots definitely help make it extra moist and amazing. 

My family also enjoys Easy Homemade Zucchini Cake Recipe.

A slice of carrot cake on a plate

Is Butter or Oil better for Carrot Cake?

Oil is better for carrot cake than butter. This is what keeps the carrot cake so moist and helps the carrot cake to last for days.

Ingredients needed - flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, carrots, pineapple, nuts

Ingredients for Carrot Cake:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Large Eggs  –  room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Oil – canola or vegetable
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Grated Carrots
  • Crushed Pineapple- drained well
  • Nuts – chopped and we prefer walnuts or pecans

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

Double this if you are frosting the entire cake and not just between the layers.

  • Cream Cheese- softened
  • Unsalted Butter – softened
  • Powdered Sugar-  sifted is best but not necessary. However, it makes the frosting creamer if you do this step. 
  • Clear Vanilla Extract – You can use regular vanilla but clear vanilla will keep the frosting white.
  • Chopped Nuts – this is just for decoration and to garnish the cake with. You can omit this step if you don’t care for nuts.
Carrot Cake on a cake stand

How to Make Carrot Cake:

  • Step 1 – Heat Oven and Prepare Pans – First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get your pan ready. You will need three 9 inch round cake pans. Go ahead and grease and flour each of those. 
  • Step 2 – Mix Dry Ingredients – Second, get a large bowl and whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,  nutmeg and ginger.
  • Step 3 – Combine Wet Ingredients – Next, take out another mixing bowl and beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Make sure to not overbeat this. 
  • Step 4 – Add in Carrots, pineapple and Nuts – Now, gently add the carrots, pineapple and nuts to cake batter. Just gently fold these in until well combined. 
  • Step 5 – Bake Cakes – Finally, divide the batter into each of the round pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack if you have one. 

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Step 1 – Sift Powdered Sugar – First, sift the powdered sugar to make sure any larger pieces are removed. 
  • Step 2 – Beat Cream Cheese – Second, beat the cream cheese in a separate bowl until it is light and fluffy. Add the butter and beat until smooth.
  • Step 3 – Add in Powdered Sugar – Finally, it is time for the powdered sugar. Gradually add this a little at a time and beat until the icing is well combined. 
  • Step 4 – Stir in Vanilla – Once everything is the desired consistency, add the vanilla. 
A slice of carrot cake on a plate

How to Decorate Carrot Cake:

  • Step 1 – Place cake on cake stand – Put one layer of the cake on your serving dish. If you are using a cake plate or cake stand, put the cake on that. 
  • Step 2 – Begin Frosting – Next, add a portion of the frosting and spread evenly on the layer. 
  • Step 3 – Continue Frosting – Repeat until all layers have been completed. 
  • Step 4 – Top with Nuts – Finally, add chopped nuts to the top if you desire. 
A slice of carrot cake on a plate

How to Make a Carrot Cake Moist:

Sometimes you end up with a dry cake and that is never fun. This can happen if you bake the cake too long or overmix the batter. 

Make sure to only mix until the batter is blended and don’t keep mixing and mixing. 

The carrots help to make this cake really moist. You can also add raisins to the cake batter before baking to make it even more moist. 

A slice of carrot cake on a plate

Tips for the Best Carrot Cake:

  • Shred Carrots – I recommend shredding the carrots by hand instead of buying the pre-shredded bags at the grocery store. You will be able to grate the carrots much finer than what comes in the bags and the veggie will blend much better in the cake.
  • Use a Cheese Grater – I prefer to use a cheese grater as opposed to a food processor because you need grated carrots. A food processor tends to make them too fine and even mushy or pureed almost.
  • Parchment Paper – Put parchment paper around the edges of the bottom cake layer once you put it on the cake stand to get ready to frost. Once finished, just remove the paper and  you have a perfectly clean cake stand without any icing to clean up.
  • Powdered Sugar – We recommend sifting the powdered sugar for mixing in with the frosting ingredients. This ensures that there is no lumps in the frosting.
  • Room Temperature – Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.
  • Clear Vanilla – Mix the frosting ingredients with clear vanilla. This makes sure that the frosting stays white.
  • Combining Ingredients – We recommend combining ingredients until mix together. You do not want to overmix the ingredients as it could result in a cake that is dry.
A slice of carrot cake on a plate

Can I Make Cupcakes with this Recipe?

Yes, you can easily make cupcakes with this Carrot Cake Recipe. Simply combine the ingredients and fill cupcake liners with the batter. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool on wire rack and then frost with the cream cheese frosting.

Can you Make this Ahead of time?

Yes, this is the perfect cake to make ahead of time. Carrot cake is a staple holiday cake that we enjoy during the Easter holiday. We think that it taste even better the next day.

Save time, and make this carrot cake at least a day before serving.

A slice of carrot cake on a plate

How to Store Carrot Cake:

Since this cake has a cream cheese frosted, then it is best to store in the fridge. But this frosted cake can stay at room temperature for 1 to 2 days if you prefer. It will last longer if you store in the fridge.

We usually cover the cake and place in the fridge for about 5 days.

A slice of carrot cake on a plate

Can you Freeze Carrot Cake?

Yes, you can freeze carrot cake that has reached room temperature. Make sure to store in a freezer safe container and wrap cake in plastic wrap and foil. It will last about 3 months if store properly.

When you are ready to serve, allow call to thaw in the fridge and then serve.

A slice of carrot cake on a plate

Easy Carrot Cake Recipe:

If you are looking for an Easy Carrot Cake Recipe this is the one to make. This cake is completely made from scratch and is so delicious. The cake is easy to make with simple ingredients.

We like making this cake for special occasions or for the holidays. It is rich and flavorful and always a family favorite. We love the delicious cream cheese frosting that really completes this cake.

Print Best Carrot Cake Recipe:

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Carrot Cake Recipe

4.70 from 13 votes
Carrot cake is sweet and decadent with layers of cream cheese icing. This is the best carrot cake and so easy to make. Each bite is amazing.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 1135

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups oil canola or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 can 15.25 oz crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1 ½ cups nuts chopped, walnuts or pecans
  • Frosting: double this if you are frosting the whole cake
  • 1 block 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract ** see notes
  • Decoration:
  • Chopped nuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Grease and flour three round 9 inch cake pans
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth
  • Add flour mixture and beat on low until well combined, but don’t overbeat
  • Fold in carrots, pineapple and nuts until well combined
  • Divide into prepared pans
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Remove from oven to wire rack and allow to cool completely
  • Frosting:
  • Sift powdered sugar into medium size bowl to remove any large pieces (you don’t have to do this step, however it does make the frosting creamier)
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth
  • Add butter and beat until fluffy and smooth
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, beat until smooth
  • Beat in vanilla until smooth
  • Decorating:
  • Add one layer of cake to plate or cake stand
  • Add ⅓ of frosting, spread evenly
  • Repeat with another cake layer
  • Add top layer and frost as desired
  • Chop nuts and decorate cake

Recipe Notes

Vanilla – regular vanilla can be used, clear vanilla will keep the frosting white

Nutrition Facts

Calories 1135kcal, Carbohydrates 149g, Protein 14g, Fat 56g, Saturated Fat 11g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 93mg, Sodium 832mg, Potassium 391mg, Fiber 4g, Sugar 100g, Vitamin A 4759IU, Vitamin C 3mg, Calcium 178mg, Iron 3mg

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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