Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

filed under: Cakes · Rose + Rosette Cakes on December 14, 2017

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.

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.

Carrot Cake

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!)

Easy Carrot Cake 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.

Chunky Carrot Cake From Scratch with Cream Cheese Rosettes!


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!

4.95 from 73 votes
Carrot Cake
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
  • cups (250g) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cups (352g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • cups finely grated carrots
  • ½ cup pineapple, drained from a can or freshly diced
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon 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 in the 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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  • Tiffani L Moore says:

    The cake itself was moist and luscious, but I would just add about 2x the spices next time.

  • Jessamie says:

    The cake looks delicious and I’m dying to try it. I wondered if this cake can be made in a 9×13 cake pan rather than 2 round ones? If yes, how should I adjust the baking time? Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jessamie! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can try baking the cake in a 9×13-inch pan, but we have not tried to replicate that here. The cake will be a bit thinner since the volume of 2, 8-inch pans is a little less than the amount of batter a 9×13-inch pan holds. You would probably also have to adjust the baking time. Let us know if you try it and how the cake turned out. Have a great day!

  • Virginia Frost says:

    Am I overlooking the carrots in this cake. If I am how many is used in recipe?

  • Virginia Frost says:

    Never mind my previous comment. I found it.

  • Kathy Hurry says:

    I made this today and disappointed with it. I’m a good cook and baker and the cake is dry and too dense. A lot of work for a mediocre cake. 😢

  • Toni says:

    I have made this cake three times already, each time in a 9×13 pan and it turns out perfect! Carrot cake is my husband’s absolute favorite and I use carrots from our garden. We don’t eat a lot of sugar so I cut the sugar significantly (only 1 cup in the cake and 1-1/2 cups in the frosting). I am making it again tonight for a church function tomorrow.

  • Natasha Robinson says:

    I had never made my own homemade carrot cake (or any homemade cake). I wrote this recipe down several different times, printed it, and studied it hard. Then decided to give it a try 2 Thanksgivings ago. Everyone loved it and it has become a have-to-make dessert now for every holiday or special occasion. The instructions were simple and easy to follow. Just wanted to say thank you so much.

  • Natasha Robinson says:

    I have made a carrot cake using thia recipe 3 different times now and i use a 13×9 pan everytime. I can’t really say if the baking times were much different. I just set my timer for what is in recipe and i just watch it closely. When my 3 cakes had been done i didnt notice or write down amy remaining time. But there isnt a huge difference.

  • Kim. Pryor says:

    Awesome tasting cake

  • Christina Roberts says:

    I have made this cake twice, and I am making it for Thanksgiving right now. It was delicious and easy to make. Thank you so much for the awesome recipe.

  • Debra bachmeier says:

    help LOL I have 4 4inch springform pans. with all these ingredients be enough to make individual carrot cakes?

  • Vickey says:

    The best cake ever. All I got was raves. Thank you so much!!

  • Fances Brackin says:

    Oh MY GOODNESS! My 18 yr old chose this recipe for her first ever homemade carrot cake. It turned out perfect and was delicious!

  • Katie says:

    Has anyone made this recipe omitting the raisins and walnuts? 2 cups seems like a significant amount to just cut out… does anyone know what tweaks need to be made to accommodate? TIA!

  • Christina says:

    My friend wants me to make a Carrot Cake,so I chose your recipe,love your tips

  • Aziza Ali says:

    this turned out to be such a yummy cake! my husband and I are loving eating on it this weekend; this morning we had it for breakfast! next time I will try the shredded coconut suggestion and I will FORCE myself to wait til the cakes are fully cool (and chilled!) before frosting (as she recommended we do haha). So perfectly delicious and complex!

  • Linda says:

    Omg …. It burnt at 45 minutes! And my oven does not cook hotter then what I set it for! I smelled it burning so I checked and yes it’s burnt . I checked other recipes and they all say 35 to 45 minutes which sounds correct. Ended up scraping the burnt area and frost and bring it to my sister in laws for supper and hope it’s good.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Linda – did you use the correct size pan? If you used 9-inch pie pans they would be done faster, and therefore not need the time an 8-inch pan does. Sorry that happened, I know I get frustrated when I make mistakes as well.

  • Karen Beck says:

    Looks delicious! For all that piping, how much frosting did you make? Double? Triple? Thanks

  • Caroline says:

    Could I make cupcakes using this recipe?

  • Barbara Horejsi says:

    Best carrot cake I have ever made@!@ yum

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.