Carrot Cake is a classic dessert made with shredded carrots, spices, oil, pineapple, and added pecans for a nutty crunch in every bite. Then, the cake is topped with cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect cake to share at celebrations, potlucks, or if you are simply craving carrot cake! For the same delicious flavors, try my Carrot Cake Cruffins, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Oil: Vegetable or canola oil is added to the cake batter to keep the cake moist and tender. It also helps distribute the flavors and spices more evenly.
Spices: I used the common spices of cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter.
Pineapple: Pineapple isn’t always added to carrot cake, however, I like the added moisture it brings. I also appreciate the flavor and texture the pineapple provides.
Nuts: I love the crunch that comes with added nuts. I used pecans, but almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts would also be delicious. Of course, you can certainly leave out nuts if preferred.
Frosting: Cream cheese frosting is the traditional choice when it comes to carrot cakes. You could also frost the cake with buttercream, which would also be delicious. I also have another Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that is SO GOOD! Or, surprise everyone by making my Cream Cheese-Filled Carrot Cupcakes with a cream cheese-filled center!
How to Store Carrot Cake
Frosted carrot cake should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the cake for up to 3 months. Be sure to save a piece of cake to make my Carrot Cake Milkshake!
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (218 g) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups (330 g) shredded carrots
- 1 cup (109 g) chopped pecans
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs with a mixer until it is a light yellow, about 3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly and gently add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture. Mix until JUST combined. (Can also mix by hand!)
- Fold in the carrots, pecans, and pineapple. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Frost the cooled cake with the cream cheese frosting.
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