The Best Carrot Cake Ever Recipe

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How To Bake The Best Carrot Cake You’ll Ever Eat Tasty

If you dont believe that our recipe helps you bake the best homemade carrot cake, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, very easy to follow, came out perfect first attempt great hit with the family, now a regular demand from my kids. A

This carrot cake was amazing!!! I made it for my husbands birthday and he said it would win a Paul Hollywood handshake Yuna

This is an absolutely divine carrot cake recipe!!!! It is so hard to find one that is not dry this one is moist and works perfectly every single time and we make it often as it is definitely our favorite!!! Jodi

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The Best Carrot Cake Recipe Ever

Alyssa RiversJump to Recipe

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Carrot cake is moist, rich in flavor and melts in your mouth! This scrumptious dessert is what everyone will be raving about!

This truly is one of the best carrot cake recipes alone with whole wheat carrot cake bread, frosted carrot cake cookies or carrot cake cupcakes. All my carrot cake recipes are made with fresh carrots, the perfect blend of spices and a sweet, heavenly frosting!

Expert Tips For Making This Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

  • Add Raisins: A moist addition can be golden or traditional raisins.
  • Spices: Ginger and nutmeg can be added for a spicier cake.
  • Variation tip: Really toasting the nuts and the coconut bring out more flavor.
  • Alternate ingredient: Unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of the pineapple if you prefer for this homemade carrot cake recipe.
  • Buttermilk: If you do not have buttermilk, indeed you can make your own, use one cup of milk to one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.

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Homemade Carrot Cake Ingredients:

Alright, lets make our shopping list! To make this homemade carrot cake recipe, you will need:

  • Oil: Any mild-flavored oil will do. I typically use avocado oil, but vegetable or canola oil would work too.
  • Sugars: Both granulated and brown sugar.
  • Eggs and vanilla extract: Becausecake.
  • Flour: I always indulge here with classic all-purpose flour. But youre welcome to sub in white whole wheat flour instead.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: This recipe uses both.
  • Salt: I used fine sea salt. If you only have iodized salt, I would recommend using a little less.
  • Freshly-grated carrots: Either grate them by hand with a box grater, use the shredding attachment on a food processor, or save yourself a step and buy them pre-grated.
  • : Feel free to also include chopped nuts , shredded coconut, and/or raisins if you would like.
  • Cream cheese frosting: Made easily with cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla and powdered sugar.

Ingredient amounts and full instructions included in the recipe box below.

Making The Cake Batter

Best Carrot Pound Cake Recipe / The Best Carrot Cake Ever

The method for this carrot cake recipe could not be simpler! If you have a couple of bowls and can stir ingredients together then you can absolutely make this cake! As you can see from our recipe video, all you need to do is combine all the ingredients. Heres how I like to do it:

Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another: I like to whisk my dry ingredients together in one bowl until they are well blended. Then I whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.

Fold the dry and wet ingredients together: Then I switch to a rubber spatula or large spoon and fold the two wet and dry ingredients together until I dont see any large streaks of flour.

Add carrots, nuts, and raisins: When Ive got the batter ready, I fold in the carrots, and if Im using them, the nuts and raisins.

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The Most Unique: Cooks Illustrated Carrot Layer Cake

This cake is a four-layered rectangular cake that gets coated in chopped nuts. Although it was a bit of a project to make, it was totally worth the effort. The cake was light and fluffy and perfectly moist. It gets a generous amount of dried currants added to the batter, lending it a nice tart flavor and chewy texture. Because the cake is baked in a sheet pan, it cooks quickly, and cutting it into four equal pieces is surprisingly easy. The frosting was also delicious and tasted like a classic, straightforward cream cheese frosting.

The presentation of the cake was super unique and unlike any of the other recipes I tested. It made the cake feel a bit more fancy as if it came straight from a bakery. The only thing I didnt like about the recipe was the amount of pecans it used. In order to cover the sides of the cake you need to use a lot of chopped pecans. While I generally like nuts in my carrot cake, I found that there was just too many.

The Reliable Classic: King Arthur Baking Companys Carrot Cake

This cake is exactly what I imagine when I think of a classic carrot cake: moist, lightly spiced, and all held together with a tangy cream cheese frosting. The cake has nothing unexpected or unique going on, but thats precisely what made it so good. It was a classic carrot cake through and through. The combination of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger was bold without being too strong, and the carrot flavor was pronounced. The cake was also super easy to assemble. The cakes held together nicely and the frosting with smooth and easy to work with. Baking the cake was an overall enjoyable experience and I would happily make it again. It was a no-frills carrot cake that is a safe bet for anyone looking to bake up a classic.

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You Cant Have Carrot Cake Without Cream Cheese Frosting

Once the cake is baked, frost it with the most classic frosting you can cream cheese frosting. The two pair perfectly together and there couldnt be a better combination. I finished the carrot cake off with some pecans on the outside, rather than baking them into the cake itself, but you could you also just keep it simple and just frost the cake.

Once frosted, the carrot cake should be refrigerated. I dont refrigerate the layers prior to frosting though. As with most cakes, I prefer serving at room temperature, so let the cake sit out for a couple of hours prior to serving it.

How I Tested The Carrot Cake Recipes

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

Each carrot cake recipe was baked on the same day and compared in a side-by-side taste test. I followed each recipe exactly as written and tried my best to keep all outside factors to a minimum. I baked them all in the same oven, used carrots from the same bag, and tasted them all at the same time. I wanted the test to be as fair as possible.I also had a few friends taste the cakes to see what they thought. At the end of the day we all picked the same cake as the winner.

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My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

With its outstanding spice flavor, super moist crumb, and velvety cream cheese frosting, this is truly the best carrot cake. Use brown sugar and toasted pecans for deeper flavor.

I dont call it carrot cake. I call it birthday cake. Its my one and only choice on my big day. Ive adopted this tradition and make my own carrot birthday cake each year. And, of course, we never limit it to only once per year. This cake graces our Easter table and I love making it for spring brunches, baby showers, and our communitys new bake sale.

In fact, this carrot cake recipe is so popular around here that I stopped asking what everyone wants for dessert! Because its always this!

And, finally, I firmly believe that the ONLY thing that competes with carrot cake is a batch of carrot cake cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Keeping It Simple

Guys, you will DIE over this Carrot Cake Recipe. Like straight up take a bite and never want to eat anything else in life other than carrot cake.

Im convinced that if you dont like carrot cake, youre making the wrong carrot cake recipe. Growing up, I really hated carrot cake because of the chunks of pineapple. Classically, a carrot cake recipe is made around Easter and does call for nuts, coconut , and crushed pineapple. While I have directions for adding in these ingredients below, mine is the plain jane version featuring grated carrot, a variety of spices, and the most amazing cream cheese frosting.

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Carrot Cake Perfect For Any Celebration

This recipe will forever change your opinion on what carrot cake is supposed to be. All the best things in one utterly divine slice of cake:

  • Tender softness. A melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Moist crumb. No dryness in the slightest here.
  • Plenty of finely shredded carrots .
  • Perfect level of sweetness.
  • Great blend of spices and vanilla for a boost of flavor.
  • Fluffy yet stable.
  • Finished with a decadent frosting. Cream cheese frosting is the only way to go here.

Ive made this cake probably close to 100 times. Im always looking for an excuse to make it and will continue to do so. When Im throwing out options for someone on their birthday this always has a way of being the top idea on the list :).

And of course its the best cake to serve for a spring celebration or Easter. This year Ill be making half the recipe and doing one layer for our small family of four.

And if youll be celebrating the holiday eating on your own or just two of you, you could always make cupcakes and freeze some for later.

Sending love to each of you. I hope you are finding some joy in cooking and baking these days.

Im thinking of you, and praying for all of you in these trying times. Holding on to hope for a better tomorrow. This too shall pass in time.

In the meantime lets be there for each other, from a distance.

How To Make Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake Recipe

A great thing about making a carrot cake from scratch is that you can control what you decide to put into it. This cake has many options, allowing you to personalize to your tastes. Its written as I like it best, but you can make adjustments as you like.

One of the less common things this carrot cake contains is carrot puree. You could replace it with milk if you like and just use grated carrots, but it genuinely adds the BEST flavor and moisture to this cake. I had my taste testers do blind tests and every time they picked the version with the puree. Still, you can leave it out if you want.

To make the grated carrots and puree, youll need about 2 1/3 pounds of carrots. This cake is not short on carrots! Peel them and then grate as much as you need to get about 3 1/2 cups. I played around with the amount of grated carrots a bit and this seemed just right not too much, not too little. You also want to be sure to grate the carrots with a box grater or a food processor. I wouldnt suggest using the shredded carrots from the store. They are little thick for my preference in a cake.

Chop up the remainder of the carrots and then steam them. When they are fork tender, add the carrots only to a food processor and puree them until smooth. Set the carrots all aside.

Next youll combine the dry ingredients, including the spices. I like plenty of flavor in my carrot cake, but feel free to adjust any youd like.

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Change It Up With These Substitutions:

This homemade carrot cake already has the perfect touch to it! I recommend using the original recipe but with these substitutions you can make this cake your own.

  • Nuts: Any type of nut is delicious in this homemade cake recipe. Substitute it, leave it out or add it along with the pecans.
  • Raisins: Always a fun soft treat to taste when eating.
  • Coconut: Shredded coconut is alway popular
  • Applesauce: Try crushed pineapple for a more tart flavor. Drain the canned pineapple before adding into the batter. Mashed bananas, sour cream or yogurt will also work as a substitute.
  • Frosting: Spice up your frosting with a pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg blend. Mix it directly in the frosting or sprinkle on top.

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe

onJump to Recipe

This is my favorite recipe for homemade carrot cake! This cake is so easy to make, perfectly moist, and topped with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting.

I feel like carrot cake is a dessert most people tend to only make around Easter. But honestly, carrot cake is such an incredible dessert and I think it should be enjoyed all year long. Especially when it comes to this recipe.

I know it can be a bold statement to call a recipe the best, but I truly mean it with this one. Not only is this cake easy to make, but its so incredibly moist and full of flavor that its almost impossible to stop at one piece.

Once you realize how easy it is to make a carrot cake from scratch, youll want to make it over and over again.

To make this carrot cake, youll start by mixing up your dry ingredients. One important thing when measuring out your dry ingredients is to make sure to spoon and level your flour.

You want to avoid packing the flour into the measuring cup, otherwise, youll end up with too much in your recipe. Or if you have a food scale, you can also weigh your ingredients to get an accurate measurement.

I also really love some spice in my carrot cake so I use some ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. All three spices add such a wonderful flavor to this cake, but arent too overpowering. They really take this cake from good to absolutely amazing, trust me.

Baking Tips for Carrot Cake

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Carrot Cake Success Tips

  • Line your cake pans with parchment. Place your cake pans on a large sheet of parchment paper. Trace the bottom of the cake pan with a pencil, then cut the circles. Grease the pan and the parchment paper. Parchment paper rounds guarantee the cakes wont stick!
  • Make it ahead. One of the BEST parts about carrot cake is that it gets better with time, even after 1 full day. The flavors mingle, the moisture prevails, and the cream cheese frosting sets into the layers. Its ridiculously good! You can make and frost the cake 1 day in advance. Keep it covered in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
  • Use freshly grated carrots. Grate them yourself.
    • Total Time:3 hours, 30 minutes
    • Yield:serves 1012 1x
    • Category:Dessert

    Make Carrot Cake Batter

    The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe

    Measure milk and stir in white vinegar. Stir and set aside.

    In a large bowl, measure out all dry ingredients and whisk together to combine. Create well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk vinegar mixture, oil, and vanilla. Stir until just incorporated. Add in carrots and stir again.

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    The Most Disappointing: Ina Gartens Carrot Cake With Ginger Mascarpone Frosting

    I hate to say this, but this cake was a major disappointment. Sure, the cinnamon was pleasant, and the crystalized ginger added a nice unexpected pop of heat. But the cake was sticky and slightly marshy as if it had been soaked in simple syrup.

    But the main issue I had with this recipe was the frosting. It was way too loose and hard to work with, making the presentation of the cake look sloppy and unfinished. No matter how much I tried to chill it, it kept melting off of the cake when I tried to assemble it. It could have been the brand of mascarpone cheese I used , but it just didnt work. As much as I love Ina and her recipes, this just didnt do it for me.

    Can I Freeze Extras

    Carrot cake is surprisingly easy to freeze after baking, and even after frosting! For best results, let the cake chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the icing to firm up. Afterwards, wrap the whole cake well in a double layer of plastic wrap, plus a layer of aluminum foil to help with freezer burn. Store the whole cake in an airtight, freezer-safe container to freeze for up to 2-3 months.

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    How To Make Carrot Cake:

    To make this homemade carrot cake recipe, simply:

  • Prep your baking pans. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.
  • Make the cake batter. Mix together the oil and sugars, followed by the eggs and vanilla, then the dry ingredients, and then the shredded carrots.
  • Fill and bake. Portion the batter evenly into your three baking pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool on a wire baking rack until they reach room temperature. Meanwhile
  • Make the frosting. See notes below.
  • Assemble and frost the cake. Once the cakes reach room temperature,* use a cake leveler or a bread knife to slice off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are completely flat on top. Place the first cake on your serving platter, add a large scoop of frosting on top of it, and spread the frosting so that it covers the cake evenly and extends a bit over the edges. Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake. Then use the remainder of the frosting to frost all around the side edges of the cake.
  • Serve and enjoy. Then once youre ready to serve the cake, slice it up and enjoy!
  • *I find that its easier to frost the cakes when they are slightly chilled. So I recommend popping them in the fridge for 15 minutes before frosting if you have the time.

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