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Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. What I love about this carrot cake recipe is that it is easy to make at home from scratch. It is the best because it is so moist and delicious. After you try this carrot cake recipe, you’ll never buy pre-made carrot cake from a store again!
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The best part of this recipe is it utilizes cream cheese for the frosting. That tangy creamy element just enhances the natural sweetness in this carrot cake recipe.
Using baby carrots in this carrot cake recipe really cuts down on the prep work for it. You can certainly use full size carrots, but be sure to weigh them so you are getting the full pound. Then chop them up into smaller pieces before pulsing in the food processor.
Carrot Cake Ingredients
Baby carrots (1 pound, finely shredded)
Eggs (4 large)
Oil (1 ¼ cups, your choice of oil, I used canola)
Sugar (2 cups, white)
Flour (2 cups, all-purpose)
Baking Soda (2 teaspoons)
Salt (1 ½ teaspoons)
Cinnamon (2 ½ teaspoons)
Carrot Cake Directions
Using a food processor, pulse the carrots until they have the consistency of wet sand. I had to do two batches in the food processor, to make sure they were all completely grated. I highly recommend placing the grated carrots in a mixing bowl and checking to make sure all carrots are grated completely. If not, they will cause a mess in the stand mixer later on. It will be easy to find the large chunks, if there are any left.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray cake pans with a non-stick baking spray. Set the cake pans aside while the oven heats up.
In a stand mixer, add the carrots, oil, eggs, and sugar in. Mix until well-combined.
Once the above ingredients are combined, add in the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Note if you want to add raisins or nuts in, this would be the time to do so. This is optional.
Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake should be firm and starting to pull away from the sides of the cake pan. A cake tester can also be used to test in the middle. Stick the cake tester in the middle, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is residue, let the cake continue to bake while checking it frequently.
Once the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven. Transfer from the cake pans to cooling racks and allow to cool for at least 2 hours.
While this delicious carrot cake is cooling, it is time to make the frosting!
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
Cream cheese (1 pound/2 8 ounce bricks, softened)
Confectioners Sugar (powdered sugar, 4 cups)
Butter (1 cup/2 sticks)
Vanilla extract (2 teaspoons)
Pecans (crushed, for garnish, optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions
Using your stand mixer again, mix the cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract together until incorporated together. Increase the speed to high and mix until the consistency is light and fluffy. This takes approximately 5 minutes. It is important during this step that you stop the mixer periodically and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to keep everything mixing smoothly.
Once the carrot cake is frosted, chill in the refrigerator until it is time to be served, then enjoy! Both the carrot cake and cream cheese frosting will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Although I’ll be impressed if it lasts that long. It goes much quicker than that when I serve this to my husband or friends.
Carrot Cake Notes
Carrot cake is easily a favorite recipe to make in my house, especially with my husband. I hear so many friends say they haven’t had a good carrot cake in so long. Which always makes me excited to share this recipe with them! It is the best scratch-made recipe, in my opinion. It is so moist and delicious, plus it’s easy to make. Anyone can make this recipe, no matter the level of baking experience!
This cream cheese frosting recipe is my absolute favorite because it is not too sweet. There is nothing worse to me than an overly sweet frosting. Using just 4 cups of sugar allows the tangy cream cheese to still shine through.
I love this cream cheese frosting recipe on red velvet cake as well. It is my go-to for both of these recipes, or any time cream cheese frosting is needed.
If you enjoy this recipe, check out some of my other favorite dessert recipes.
Have you tried making this carrot cake recipe? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!
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