Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

filed under: Cakes · Rose + Rosette Cakes on December 14, 2017
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  • The best Carrot Cake Recipe you will ever try. This homemade carrot cake is bursting with flavor and moisture! But one of my favorite things about this cake is (in my opinion) the best cream cheese frosting on the planet.

    Carrot Cake

    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 her only request was a carrot cake from scratch.

    Real carrot cake.  With real ingredients. (No box mixes allowed!) After testing out several recipes, I finally found one that everyone loves and that is now a tradition in our home.

    Easy 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. (It brought her to tears… if you ever have the opportunity to replicate this for a loved one I highly recommend it!)

    Chunky Carrot Cake From Scratch with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

    How to Make the Best Carrot Cake

    Once you have added the flour to the wet ingredients you want to be very gentle with the batter. I recommend removing the bowl from the stand mixer and mix all dry ingredients in by hand.

    If you do not want to add pineapple, you can add 1/4 more oil and omit the pineapple. You can also make other substitutions or changes like adding sweetened coconut (1/4 cup should do!) or using a little brown sugar.

    Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling the cake. I like to use a chilled cake for assembly and a room-temperature frosting. You may need to level your cake prior to assembly. (Get detailed instructions on that here.)

    BONUS: One way to make this cake AMAZING (and for the 21+ crowd) is to plump up your raisins in rum or brandy.


    Easy Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe {Best Frosting}

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    This cream cheese frosting is amazing for a few reasons. First, it’s amazingly sweet AND you can pipe with it. If you do not want to pipe out 67 rosettes, you can simply spread it over the cake in glorious swoops. This recipe and a “rustic” design are a match made in heaven!

    The BEST Cream Cheese frosting!

    Tips for the Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting:

    So the ingredients for this frosting are pretty basic. Butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. But it’s how you put them together that makes the difference! And it is important that your cream cheese and butter are room temperature. If your cream cheese is chilled it will be lumpy and those lumps are impossible to get out!

    CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR PIPING: You will want to get all the wet ingredients combined before adding the sugar. The trick is to NOT overbeat the cream cheese. The more you mix the creamier it gets and the harder it is to pipe. I add my sugar 1 cup at a time so that I can gauge the consistency as I go.

    CREAM CHEESE FOR FROSTING CAKES: When covering a cake with this cream cheese frosting you can beat for 3-5 minutes additional minutes in your stand mixer. This results in the creamiest cream cheese frosting you will ever have.

    Everything about these recipes is perfection.  The flavor of this homemade carrot cake recipe is delightful.  The texture was exquisite. It’s the world’s best!

    I think I just talked myself into making another one. Hope you enjoy this Homemade Carrot Cake recipe!

    5 from 18 votes
    Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 20 mins

    This amazing carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is going to be your new family favorite!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Carrot Cake, cream cheese frosting
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 464 kcal
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    Carrot Cake
    • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cup (250g) vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 3/4 cup (352g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
    • 2 1/4 cups finely grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup pineapple, can be from a can or freshly diced
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups (512g) confectioners sugar
    Carrot Cake
    1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
    2. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans. (Can also do three 7-inch round cake pans) Butter pans generously or spray with baking spray.
    3. Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow, about 3 minutes.
    4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. (Double sifting is recommended)
    5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly and gently add in the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. (Can also mix by hand!)
    6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold raisins, nuts, carrots, and pineapple.
    7. Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. A few crumbs are what you want for a MOIST cake!
    8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1. Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. 
    2. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy. Whip cream cheese frosting for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

    3. Cover cake in frosting.

    Recipe Video

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  • JB says:

    Could the cake layers be made and frozen til needed?

  • Sam says:

    Hi Amanda-
    What do you recommend using extra of instead of the pineapple and how much? I love your recipes!

  • Katherine says:

    Soak the raisins in rum for better flavor

  • Judy Shay says:

    AWESOME !!!

  • Jan Maul says:

    Absolutely the best carrot cake I have ever had. It was easy to make and was a big hit at our Easter brunch. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe.

  • Maggie says:

    Driest carrot cake I have ever made or eaten. I double checked my ingredients, oven temp, everything. Oh well.

  • Lora Brune says:

    Very very dry. I checked my oven temp, double checked the ingredients I used to what was listed in the recipe. Is the bake time a misprint? Ended up pitching it prior to utilizing cream cheese frosting in which I decreased the powdered sugar.

  • Sandra Murillo says:

    OMG! By far the BEST carrot cake EVER!

  • Mary Ann Skibinski says:

    My question is: do you drain the pineapple juice and do you use crushed?

  • Mary Ann says:

    I am making this cake for a friend of mine’s father.
    Do you know how to make the frosting carrots so I can put a few on the cake. He doesn’t like store bought cakes or icing so she has sought me out to do it.

  • Jo says:

    I don’t like cream cheese an I substitute homemade butter cream frosting??

  • Susan Flowers says:

    This Carrot Cake is wonderful! My husband loves carrot cake and there’s a restaurant near us that serves the best!!
    He said that the one I made using this recipe is the absolute best he’s ever had!!!
    It took me about four hours to finish it.
    I promised him that I will bake it again once or twice a year.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Rochelle julius says:

    Hi I can never understand how much is 8 ounces cream cheese or sometimes the recipe say 2 oz??? I’m confused???

  • Maria McRae says:

    Can you use 9 inch pans?

  • Giny says:


  • Lisa Binning says:

    Can you substitute rounds for 9×13 pan?

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