I Am Baker

homemade carrot cake

Trying to find a real carrot cake recipe is not as easy as you would think.  My Mother-in-Law was having a big birthday party last Sunday and that was her only request.  Real carrot cake.  With real ingredients.

I have never been a fan of chunky carrot cake.  Chunky as in… no visible carrot pieces.  No nuts.  No raisins.  Never ever ever raisins in a cake.

I much prefer the box mix.  Because really, its all about the cream cheese frosting anyway.  As long as there is a cake with some sort of spice flavor under it I am good.

Chunky Carrot Cake with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting!

 But I was wrong.

So, so so so wrong.

After searching for some time, I found a reliable source for the recipe.  My friend Shaina from Food For Your Family has a beautiful, real and raw site.  Raw in terms of ingredients (she uses real food… unlike me who just professed a love for box mix) and in terms of writing.  (Seriously, I have never been emotionally moved by a food blog as much as I am with hers.)

I changed up a few key ingredients simply because I did not have any on hand, but for the most part tried to follow her great recipe.  If you want the original in all its glory, be sure to visit her site!!

Chunky Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!


For the exterior I did a version of my original Rosette Cake.  My beautiful mother-in-law was turning 67 (she really doesn’t look a day over 45!) and so piped out 67 flowers.  Some are with the 1M tip (remember you can always use a 2D tip in place of the 1M) and the rest are with #27 tip from Wilton.

Chunky Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!


This is my favorite Cream Cheese frosting.  (Its the best ever.  Don’t click that link.  You will be ruined for all other cream cheese frostings forever.)

Homemade Carrot Cake


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 1/4 cups grated carrots


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans.
  3. Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold raisins, nuts, and the carrots.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Cover in cream cheese frosting.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

Normally I would try to take a pretty picture of the cut-into cake, but since this was for an actual party there wasn’t that opportunity.  Plus this cake is so gloriously chunky and crumbly that there would be no such thing as a ‘beauty shot’.

I did grab a quick picture of my piece though, just before I gobbled it down in 30 seconds flat.

Chunky Homemade Carrot Cake with the Best Cream Cheese Frosting


Man it was good.  The flavor was  delightful.  The texture was exquisite. The last bite gratifying.

I think I just talked myself into making another one.


  1. Elleb says

    do you guys have tried the Nordstrom Cafe’s carrot cake ? do you have a copy cut recipe ? can you please share the recipe :D …thank you

  2. says

    Amanda, This is the most elegant carrot cake ever. I’m sure your mother-in-law loved it. Somehow I doubt you will make another box carrot cake after whipping up Shaina’s recipe. Gotta pin this to my Cakes board which is full of your gorgeous cakes!

  3. Mari says

    I’ve always loved the way you decorate your cakes. I’ve been wanting to try the cakes you’ve made but I haven’t been given the opportunity. I must say this carrot cake looks so gorgeous! I do make carrot cakes too and everyone loves it…although I do not frost my carrot cakes, my friends don’t seem to miss it. It’s really good as it is… they crave for it every year.

  4. Kay Smith says

    Your cake looks scrumptious! I notice you piped your cream cheese topping and would be interested to know who you do this. Mine is just about spreadable and I wonder if that is some to do with the high humidity here. Do you have a recipe to share. Thank you and keep up the great work.

  5. Elleb says

    this is the first I make this carrot cake … Tried your recipe … I have a question what is the texture of the batter ? is it liquidy or thick? Mine is thick … Thank you

  6. says

    I use a carrot cake recipe similar to the one you used. Let me give you another hint,bake your cake and let it sit in the fridge a couple days before giving it the yummy cream cheese icing. Not sure why but the flavors are as they say kicked up a notch! Also I roast my walnuts in the oven before using them,the directions on the side of the bag…this also adds more depth to the flavors.

  7. Debra Freeland says

    Try golden raisins and 1/4 tsp of ground ginger. It was a first place winner at the Kern County Fair and Bolthouse Farms gave a $100 first prize. In case you don’t know who Bolthouse is , look on the bag of your baby carrots. LOL!

  8. says

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve had an in-home cake business for years and was making a cake this weekend for a baby shower. I knew I wanted something frilly in dusty pinks, lavenders and greys (to match baby’s bedding), but didn’t want something totally covered in frills. This design was just what I needed. Just enough frills, but not too many for the ones who don’t love tons of icing (not me! I love TONS of icing) sometimes, after doing it for so long, and creating unique designs for so many cakes, I get stuck!! Thanks for doing what you do. :)

  9. marcella says

    Hi, your cake is so beautiful..anyway, because i live in a humid environment my cream cheese melt.. is there any other way i cant even make the rose flower.. thanks in advance.

  10. Sabine says

    oh my….I made this tonight. It was my mil’s bday and they aren’t huge dessert people. they each ate a piece and a half! it is wonderful! I did add a half cup of pineapple but this cake was awesome!!! My son is the official frosting tester and he loved it! thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  11. Shelly says

    Did you finely grate your carrots (the pieces look finely grated in the picture of the cake) or are they grated in larger pieces? I ask because I’m thinking it may effect the measurement… =)

  12. Martha Johnson says

    Sooo pretty and looks really yummy! I’m going to make this today. I follow you on FB and your blog page is on my home page. I appreciate your recipes, tips and pics. Your rose cake tut made made me famous in my family!

  13. Nikki says

    I am making this for a big party for my father in law and I was wondering to frost a cake with the cream cheese frosting, did you double the recipe used on the zucchini cupcakes? I have always loved your cakes and am always making what you make and I just started following you on instagram and am always looking forward to what you make next :) Thanks!

  14. denise says

    hi. I have been following your recipes and have made several Rose cakes based on your
    recipes and photos. I tried to do this one but struggled with the different sized roses. You said you only used 2 tips (1M and the #27)
    but it looks like three sizes. Im also struggling with the technique. I cannot seem to “get” it just rt. Any suggestions?
    I think you do beautiful work, once I master the roses I will move onto ruffles, hydrangeas etc. I would love to try all
    and get creative. I don’t have a way or know of any one who could really show me a “hands on” approach so I have watched and rewatched the videos.. thank you for any advise.

    • says

      Hi Denise! You have a great eye. I used the 1M to make one-swirl roses and two-swirl roses, then the #27 tip for the third size. I would recommend practicing on a piece of parchment paper until you get the exact look that you want! :)

  15. Alice says

    I tried making this cake over the weekend and encountered a serious problem…Despite following all directions exactly, I ended up with what looked like cookie dough instead of cake batter. I put it in my pans anyway, hoping for the best, and I came out with an inedible beastly puck of a cake that tasted very wrong. All my ingredients were fresh and good quality, so I don’t think that was the issue. Is there anyone who could help me figure out what went wrong?

    • says

      Oh dear!! I have never encourtered that result with this recipe. The first thing that comes to mind is a lack of liquid.. is it possible something was missed? So very sorry!

  16. Jeanette Carter says

    I recently made this recipe for a tier on a wedding cake. It was the best carrot cake I have ever made. It was very tasty and it supported the top tier without any issues. This will definitely be my go to recipe from now on. Thank you so much for posting.

  17. Chris says

    Beautiful looking cake! I love carrot cake! The recipe I use is from an old Good Housekeeping magazine called Heidi’s Carrot Cake. In it is crushed pineapple….you don’t really” taste” it but it gives you the moistness and flavor. I also add allspice along with the nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s very good!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>