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Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

This simple carrot cake recipe is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. Perfect for beginner bakers and unbelievable flavor! 

carrot cake slice on blue plate

I loooooove this recipe!! I love it so much that I have remade it dozens of times. It is so perfect for almost every occasion. 

Which is surprising, because I am not a huge fan of carrots. But when you shred them, toss with the perfect blend of spices, and bake them into a cake… They are magical. 

See those thick layers? They are oh-so moist and make your home smell incredible while they are baking! Top things off with a beautiful and creamy cream cheese frosting and you have got a dessert fit for a king!

slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Award Winning Carrot Cake Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour- Building your base with a good flour is key! All-purpose is what is used in this cake recipe. 
  • Baking soda and baking powder- Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents. They help give the cake its light and airy texture.  
  • Salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg- These three ingredients boost the flavor and compliment the carrot perfectly.
  • Eggs- Large eggs at room temperature. 
  • Oil- Deciding which oil to use in a cake can be tricky. I have made this particular recipe with coconut, vegetable, and canola oil with great success. 
  • Applesauce- Sounds odd, but it helps with producing a moist cake. Don’t skip!
  • Sugar- Both white and brown sugar are going to add to the richness of this cake flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract- Try to stick with pure vanilla extract. 
  • Carrots- I purchase whole carrots and peel and shred them on my own. However, you could also pick up a bag of pre shredded carrots and they should work fine. 

The best oil to use in cake:

The most common oil used in cake baking is canola oil. The price is low and it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor which is ideal when baking. You can also use vegetable oil. Some vegetable oils have a stronger flavor, so they could alter the flavor slightly. 

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting on blue plate

How to make carrot cake from scratch:

From scratch cakes can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from trying! This cake is perfect for beginners. Follow the steps below for a perfect carrot cake.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 8 inch pans or a 9×13 pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix the eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the dry ingredients and carrots. Divide between your round pans or pour all of the batter into your 9×13.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Best frosting for carrot cake: 

Cream cheese frosting!! I was trying to decide if there are other flavors that will work, and there definitely are, but cream cheese is king.  The slightly tang and less sweet flavor compliments the carrot in the most perfect way. Add in that dash of cinnamon and you have a drool worthy dessert that is hard to resist! 

I have the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting recipe that you can find here

Tips for this recipe:

  • Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of your cake pan. This is probably the BEST cake baking tip I can ever offer you. After you grease your pan, place the parchment circle on the bottom and top with your batter. After baking, this makes removing from the pan a breeze! 
  • Use room temperature ingredients to help with easy mixing. An over mixed batter makes a tough and chewy cake. 
  • Test your oven temperature. Over baking your cake can cause tough and chewy dessert. Knowing how your oven cooks and adjusting your baking time can be the key to a perfectly baked cake recipe. 

More Carrot Recipes:

More Cake Recipes:

This simple carrot cake recipe is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. Perfect for beginner bakers and unbelievable flavor! 

Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 1 cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This simple carrot cake recipe is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. Perfect for beginner bakers and unbelievable flavor! 

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese soft
  • 5 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 8 inch pans or a 9x13 pan. Set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Mix the eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the dry ingredients and carrots. Divide between your round pans or pour all of the batter into your prepared pan.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Top with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese and frosting in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until fully combined and smooth. Add the vanilla.
2. Stir in the powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time until your desired consistency is achieved.

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Deborah Kiselow

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Please stop printing comments of people that have not made the cake.... they are NOT HELPFUL

Jesseca

Monday 16th of September 2019

Hi Deborah, I'm sorry you found the comments unhelpful. My website is open to all comments and I welcome general statements, questions, or recipe reviews. If you have a question about the recipe you are free to ask in the comments or email me directly. I'm happy to help!

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe List {61 Top Carrot Cake Recipes}

Tuesday 8th of April 2014

[…] Carrot Cake Smoothie Recipe 32. Carrot Cake 33. Carrot Cake Bread Recipe 34. Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls Recipe 35. Healthier Carrot […]

Leanne

Friday 21st of March 2014

Oh, this looks delicious! I dream of carrot cake. You should come up with an amazing gluten free one just for me.

Melissa

Thursday 20th of March 2014

This looks absolutely amazing. Can't wait to try it out!

Aimee @ Like Mother Like Daughter

Thursday 20th of March 2014

Can you believe I have never made carrot cake before? You can bet I need to make this to celebrate Easter this year. It looks so divine!

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