Easy Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

This super moist Carrot Cake recipe is made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Lightly spiced and blanketed in a fluffy cream cheese frosting, this is one layer cake recipe you need to make for every occasion.

Carrot Cake Layer cake with a slice on a blue and white plate.

Easter is just two days away and it wouldn’t be complete without a Homemade Carrot Cake recipe, am I right? To be honest, I made this carrot cake last year and totally forgot to share it all with you. The photos aren’t the best so I was a little hesitant to share it with all of you BUT it’s so amazing I felt like I was hiding one of the BEST layer cakes from you.

So, here it is….my favorite dessert ever….this EASY Carrot Cake recipe is a riff on my carrot cake cupcakes. It’s super easy to whip up and the cream cheese frosting is smooth, slightly sweet with that ever so pleasant tang that is signature in every cream cheese icing recipe.

What makes this the best carrot cake recipe ever is that fact that it’s incredibly moist without having to add pineapple to the mix. I love pineapple in my carrot cakes but not all the time so this one is made without it and you won’t miss it one bit.

Easy Carrot Cake slice on a blue and white plate.

WORLD’S BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE

I know some people think carrots in cake is not a good thing but it’s the carrots that keep this cake from drying out. They add just the right amount of texture and moisture to the slightly spiced cake batter. 

You can make this recipe as a double layer cake or a sheet pan cake, whatever the occasion calls for you can easily adapt the recipe to.

To mix things up, I added plump raisins and pecans along with the grated carrot to give it some additional texture. I’ve had cakes with coconut and pineapple in them, too, which is also great if you want to give that a try. 

I love that you can totally make this cake recipe work for your family by adding your favorite ingredients to the batter before baking.

Whole carrot cake on a white cake pedestal on a gray background.

INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT CAKE

The ingredients for this easy cake recipe are pretty standard and usually are already available in your kitchen.

You’ll need

  • flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • salt 
  • butter
  • granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • carrots
  • raisins
  • finely chopped pecans

For the carrot cake frosting, you can use THIS recipe or find your favorite at the store. Sometimes time isn’t on our side and you need to enlist the help of your local grocery store. But I assure you this Cream Cheese Frosting is the best for your carrot cake and it only takes a few minutes to whip up.

overhead shot of carrot cake on a cake plate with a slice on a blue and white plate.

HOW TO MAKE CAKE FROM SCRATCH

This simple carrot cake made from scratch is made simply buy mixing everything together in a big bowl. It couldn’t be easier to make. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs. Once combined, stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in the carrots, raisins and pecans.

Divide the batter between two 9 inch round cake pans coated with cooking spray and dusted with flour. 

Bake at 325˚F for 30 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed with your finger.

Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting and frost the cakes, as desired.

I like to decorate my cake with more chopped pecans but it’s not necessary….but it also hides any imperfections (like cake crumbs) that may be lurking in your frosting. 

Carrot cake on a white cake plate with a slice taken out.

TIPS FOR PERFECT CARROT CAKE

  • Be sure to grate your carrots, don’t buy the pre-shredded carrots in the bag. Fresher carrots will add more moisture to your cake. Moist cake is good….dry cake is bad. This is the one time the word moist doesn’t bother me.
  • Toast your pecans! Don’t skip this step. It, literally, takes two extra minutes to toast your pecans in a skillet on the stovetop over low heat.
  • Be sure to use room temperature eggs and butter. This allows all the ingredients to blend together without big clumps of cold butter mucking up the works. 
  • Don’t pack your flour into the measuring cup, instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife. This will create an airy, light crumb in your moist cake layers.

Slice of carrot cake on a blue and white plate.

If you’re looking for something a bit more rich, you’ll LOVE this Carrot Cheesecake!  It’s so creamy and amazing. And I love to make them mini…for portion control. 🙂

If you love this layer cake, you may also like this Pink Champagne Layer Cake or the OG, reader favorite, Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake. We’re also loving this Red Velvet Coconut Cake because it’s a mashup of my two favorite cakes ever….Coconut and Red Velvet.

Got a birthday coming up? Make this AMAZING Birthday Cake!!!

Mini Carrot Cheesecake on a white plate on a blue background from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

DON’T MISS A RECIPE! Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for even more easy family recipes!

Easy Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Kellie
Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is the best layer cake for every occasion. Studded with raisins and pecan, this lightly spiced cake is a dream come true.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 1220 kcal

Equipment

  • 9 inch cake pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

For the frosting:

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped pecans for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  • Turn the mixer on low. Stir in the vanilla and carrots.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then the raisins and pecans.
  • Divide the batter evenly between two 9 inch cake pans coated with cooking spray and dusted lightly with flour.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 and continue baking for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the cooling rack and cool completely.
  • To make the frosting:
  • Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture beating until light and creamy. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost the cake, as desired. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and serve.

Notes

Cake layers can be made up to 3 days in advance. Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
You can also freeze the cake layers wrapped in plastic wrap and foil for up to 30 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 1220kcalCarbohydrates: 152gProtein: 9gFat: 67gSaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 220mgSodium: 366mgPotassium: 405mgFiber: 3gSugar: 113gVitamin A: 6367IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 3mg
Keyword carrot cake, cream cheese frosting
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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